(Photo: Pixabay, via MGN Online)
By Yvonne Wingett Sanchez | Arizona Republic
Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly split Friday over an effort to hike the federal minimum wage, with Sinema evoking memories of the late Sen. John McCain by flashing a thumbs-down on the Senate floor.
Sinema, D-Ariz., joined with seven other Democrats and all Republicans to block an effort to debate raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package under consideration in the Senate.
Kelly, D-Ariz., voted to allow the effort to overrule the Senate parliamentarian, who has decided the measure to raise the wage from $7.25 an hour cannot be considered as part of the COVID-19 legislation.
The aid package is advancing in the 100-member Senate through budget reconciliation rules that bypass the typical 60-vote threshold needed to pass legislation.
Debate over raising the federal minimum wage has emerged as a key issue among Democrats who saw the stimulus package as their best shot at passing the provision without picking up support from Republicans in the 50-50 split chamber.