WASHINGTON—The House Education and Labor Committee has approved increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour as part of the first piece of legislation to advance out of committee in President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan. The House panel voted 27-21 along party lines for the legislation, which also includes billions of dollars to reopen schools, bolster childcare centers and expand access to health insurance.
According to Bloomberg, five more panels must act on their parts of the stimulus bill, with another six joining in the coming days. That means a House floor vote will occur the week of Feb. 22. The Senate Finance committee and other panels in that chamber plan to skip formal hearings and votes, given the time taken up by the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.
It remains unclear if the minimum wage will be permitted to stay in the fast-track budget process that Democrats are using to pass the bill in the Senate with just a simple majority, rather than the usual 60 votes needed to end a filibuster.