Joe Manchin Thinks All Republican Senators Want Minimum Wage Rise

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has said he believes Republicans would be on board with a minimum wage rise just not necessarily at the $15 an hour mark.

Democrats had moved to lift the federal minimum wage to that mark through reconciliation along with COVID-19 relief, though the Senate parliamentarian ruled it should not be passed through the upper chamber in that way.

The White House has indicated it will not override the parliamentarian, and will look at other methods to pass the increase.

Using reconciliation could have meant passing the measure without Republican support, only needing a simple majority in the Senate. However, other routes through the upper chamber would require 60 votes—meaning Republican support would be needed.

Manchin, who has spoken of his desire to pass legislation in a bipartisan manner, was asked by CNN's Chris Cuomo who "on the right in the Senate" he believes would work with Democrats on the minimum wage.

"Well I think that every Republican wants to raise the minimum wage," Manchin said. "Everyone's just not in sync with Bernie Sanders at $15.

"A lot of the areas already have $15.

"I agree with Joe Biden when he says, 'Anybody that goes to work every day and works full time should be above the poverty guidelines.'"

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin says he believes Republicans will work with Democrats to raise the minimum wage and on other issues.

"I think that every Republican wants to raise the minimum wage. Everyone's just not in sync with Bernie Sanders at $15."

— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) March 9, 2021

He went on to reiterate his stance that $11 an hour would be his preferred point for a raise.

Manchin previously told reporters in February: "$11 is the right place to be. Throwing $15 out there right now just makes it very difficult in rural America."

Manchin's comments come with several Republican senators having indicated openness to a rise in some form.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier this month that upping the federal minimum wage was "worth discussing" as it "hasn't been raised in quite a while."

He referenced proposals from Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) who put forward a plan for the federal minimum wage to rise from $7.25 to $10-an-hour by 2025.

However, advocates for the $15 an hour mark have rejected the prospect of boosting it but to a lower point.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said in February that $15 an hour "is not a radical idea."

An amendment he introduced for the COVID-19 relief bill in the Senate to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2025 failed to garner the votes need to pass last week.

Other progressive lawmakers have suggested the $15 an hour mark is already a compromise.

The White House has stood by President Joe Biden's position of wanting the amount to raise, and has indicated he will use his "political capital" in attempts to get this done.

Newsweek has contacted the lawmakers mentioned for comment.

senator joe manchin at committee hearing
Senator Joe Manchin, (D-WV) speaking at a Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing at the U.S. Capitol on February 24, 2021 in Washington, D.C. He has suggested Republicans would support a minimum wage increase but not to $15 an hour. Leigh Vogel/Pool/Getty Images