WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden is still committed to raising the U.S. minimum wage to US$15 after a key Senate referee ruled the provision could not be included in the COVID-19 relief bill, a top White House economic adviser said on Friday.
White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, in an interview on MSNBC, said the administration was disappointed by the Senate parliamentarian's Thursday ruling and would consult with congressional leaders about the path forward.
"He's committed to getting it done," he said. "We were disappointed by the parliamentarian's ruling."
The legislative official on Thursday said the provision, which would more than double the federal minimum wage, could not be included in the US$1.9 trillion relief bill that Democrats are seeking to pass via a process known as reconciliation.
A higher wage "is the right thing to do. We're going to consult with our congressional allies, congressional leaders today to talk about a path forward about how we can make progress urgently on what is an urgent issue. At the same time, need to act on this American Rescue Plan," he added, as the U.S. House of Representatives prepared to take up the bill later on Friday.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Alex Richardson and Chizu Nomiyama)