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Nonpartisan congressional office: Gradual $15 minimum wage hike would cost 1.4 million jobs

Congressional Democrats are debating whether to include the wage-hike measure in President Biden's $1.9 trillion aid package

Updated: February 8, 2021 - 1:45pm

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected Monday that Democrats' putting a gradual, $15 minimum wage into its $1.9 trillion COVID relief package will result in 1.4 million workers losing their jobs.

Democrats right now are considering gradually increasing the wage through 2025.

Most of the major bills on Capitol Hill that have a financial impact go to the CBO to give lawmakers and other stakeholders a nonpartisan review about costs and other financial impacts. 

The report also indicates that the minimum wage hike would lift 900,000 workers out of poverty. 

The policy proposal has divided congressional Democrats along progressive and moderate lines. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate, opposes the policy, while younger, more progressive members have been longtime advocates for uniformly raising the hourly pay of American minimum wage workers.

Last week, President Biden said he does not believe the minimum wage hike will ultimately make it into the package, but is prepared to address the issue legislatively at a different time.