UPDATED 7:00 AM PT – Sunday, February 7, 2021
Joe Biden is already putting the brakes on several campaign promises, including some he claimed were vital to Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Friday, Biden suggested his push to include raising the federal minimum wage to $15 would not make it into his nearly $2 trillion coronavirus bill. This came after senators from both sides of the aisle voted to halt rising the minimum wage during the pandemic amid the 15 hour vote-a-rama, which ended on Friday.
It’s not enough to just thank our essential workers — we need to pay them. As president, I’ll:
– Raise the minimum wage to $15
– End the tipped minimum wage
– End the sub-minimum wage for people with disabilities
– Ensure everyone has strong benefits
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 7, 2020
However, Biden attempted to salvage his support from working class Americans by saying he will fight to increase the minimum wage from $7.25.
“Look, no one should work 40 hours a week and live below the poverty wage,” Biden stated. “If you’re making less than $15 an hour, you’re living below the poverty wage.”
However, when a reporter asked, “but that may not be in your American Rescue Plan?” Biden responded with, “no. I put it in, but I don’t think it’s gonna survive.”
We have no time to waste when it comes to getting this virus under control and building our economy back better. Tune in as I announce my American Rescue Plan. https://t.co/4YAg0nhJMn
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 15, 2021
Late last month, Biden announced his ambitious plans to make COVID-19 vaccines accessible to all Americans by springtime. The next day, White House press secretary Jen Psaki reversed course, claiming medical experts could sing a different tune in the coming months.
“Everybody won’t be eligible this spring,” Psaki said. “As you all know, even as the CDC continues to provide updated guidance. But he would certainly defer to health and medical health experts, and obviously the guidance of Dr. Fauci, on when we may be at the pace of reaching herd immunity.”
Biden is rolling back his message to unite Americans by bypassing Republican opposition to pass his coronavirus bill. He is overseeing a political arena where both Democrat controlled chambers of Congress are gearing up to pass the bill by just a simple majority, even as Republicans in the upper chamber extended their hand across the aisle, hoping to reach a bipartisan compromise.
“First of all, the president ran on unifying the country and putting forward ideas that would help address the crises we’re facing,” Psaki stated. “He didn’t run on a promise to unite the Democratic and Republican Party into one party in Washington.”
In the meantime, Biden and top Democrat lawmakers are expecting to hash out the final details of Biden’s coronavirus package as early as Monday. They are eyeing a two week deadline to get a final vote on the bill.