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Dems split on jobless benefits stalls COVID-19 relief bill, Senators reject minimum wage boost

Joe Manchin, John Cornyn
Posted at 2:35 PM, Mar 05, 2021

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats trying to move their 1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill through the Senate have laid aside one battle over boosting the minimum wage. But they've promptly descended into another internal fight, slowing work on President Joe Biden's premier legislative priority.

The Senate seemingly killed progressives’ last-ditch effort to include a federal minimum wage hike in the relief package.

The vote against the increase was 58-42, with eight Democrats joining Republicans in opposition, though the vote wasn’t yet formally gaveled to a close.

But then, a deal on unemployment benefits between progressive and moderate Democrats seemed to unravel, and Senate work froze as leaders sought a solution.

One Democrat who voted to reject a minimum wage boost was Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema.

However, Sinema previously endorsed a raise to the minimum wage years ago.

As seen in her Tweet from March 11, 2014, Sinema shared a link to a petition to urge Congress to "immediately raise the minimum wage."