The Senate has voted to open debate on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. The legislation has widespread support from voters, with one new poll showing 77% of Americans support the bill, including nearly 60% of Republicans. But the Senate bill has some key differences from the package approved by the House, including a reduction in the number of people eligible for direct stimulus checks and no provision to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. However, the Fight for 15 continues, with the Senate considering an amendment by Senator Bernie Sanders to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour over a five-year period. Reverend Dr. William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign and president of Repairers of the Breach, notes that 140 million people in the U.S. were already living in poverty before this pandemic, and he urges Democrats to “stick together” and push through the minimum wage hike.
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