WASHINGTON—House Democrats are preparing to stitch together a legislative version of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief proposal next week, which will include an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour despite a second Senate Democrat opposing it this week.
House committees spent the past week shaping portions of the legislation, including the proposal to gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15 over four years. Early next week, the House Budget Committee is expected to assemble all the pieces into one bill, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said should pass the full House by the end of the month.
Democrats can’t afford to lose a single vote from their ranks in the evenly divided Senate. But the office of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.) said this week that she wouldn’t support including the minimum wage increase in the coronavirus relief package, joining Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) and most Republicans in opposing its inclusion. Politico first reported her decision.
House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D., Ky.) said in an interview Friday that the minimum wage increase was always expected to be hard to pass. “We always knew it was going to be probably the roughest thing to both get through the floor” and procedural constraints, Mr. Yarmuth said.
Democrats are trying to use a process known as reconciliation that would allow the Senate to pass the Covid-19 relief bill with a simple majority, rather than the usual 60 votes. It is unclear whether the minimum wage increase is eligible to be passed this way.