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Omar, other progressives want to oust Senate parliamentarian after ruling on $15 minimum wage hike

"This is unacceptable," Omar tweeted after Senate parliamentarian effectively ruled wage hike couldn't pass on simple majority vote.

Updated: February 26, 2021 - 3:47pm

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Members of the Democratic Party's progressive wing are calling for the Senate parliamentarian to be removed, after her ruling late Thursday that a $15 federal minimum wage hike cannot be included in Democrats' $1.9 trillion COVID relief measure.

Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled the increase cannot be included in the effort to pass the relief package through a procedure known as budget reconciliation, which will allow passage by a simple, 51-vote majority.

"Abolish the filibuster," tweeted Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, among the most outspoken members of the House Democratic Caucus' progressive wing. "Replace the parliamentarian. What's a Democratic majority if we can't pass our priority bills? This is unacceptable."

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, another House progressive, tweeted: "The Senate parliamentarian issues an advisory opinion. The VP can overrule them — as has been done before. We should do EVERYTHING we can to keep our promise, deliver a $15 minimum wage, and give 27 million workers a raise."

Jayapal was perhaps referring to what some Republicans proposed in 2017 when they were frustrated with the parliamentarian for nixing items from former President Trump's Obamacare repeal bill, which went through reconciliation.

Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz argued that the vice president, who is also the president of the Senate, could ignore the "advisory" opinions of the parliamentarian and decide for himself what policies were OK under reconciliation, according to Politico.

Several progressive groups on Thursday night sent a letter to President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris urging them "to use the full power of your office to bring essential financial relief to all working people in America, by ensuring that a $15 federal minimum wage is included in the budget reconciliation process, regardless of the opinion of the parliamentarian."

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