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Breaking: Democrat effort to hike minimum wage in COVID relief bill dies after ruling from Senate parliamentarian

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'A big loss for Democrats'

(Photo by Tony Savino/Corbis via Getty Images)

The effort to include a hike in the federal minimum wage as a part of the COVID-19 relief bill perished on Thursday after the Senate parliamentarian ruled that it could not be included in the legislation.

Democrats have been pushing for the controversial wage hike, while Republicans have warned that it would lead to an increase in unemployment and shuttered businesses.

CNN congressional correspondent Manu Raju reported the development based on his sources in the Senate.

"No minimum wage in the budget reconciliation bill, a big loss for Democrats. Parliamentarian says it's not within the Senate rules of reconciliation," reported Raju.

The report said that the wage hike could not be included because it is a "mandate on businesses" as it it currently written.

The ruling will make the passage of the bill more likely since moderate Democrats like Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia had voiced their opposition to the bill if it included the wage hike.

While progressives had vehemently denounced Democrats for not supporting the minimum wage hike enough, they also indicated that they would back down if the parliamentarian ruled against it. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.) said that if Democrats had excised it from the bill they would be pressed to vote against it altogether.

"If $15 is not in the package due to parliamentary reasons, that's one consideration and I would be open to voting for the package," said Ocasio-Cortez to CNN.

"If Democrats strip it out, or if they change, fundamentally alter the provision and it's essentially removed for political reasons, that is where, I think, not just myself but a substantial amount of progressives are kind of in a difficult spot," she added.

Other progressives like Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) called on Vice President Kamala Harris to disregard the order and include the hike in the bill.

"I'm sorry—an unelected parliamentarian does not get to deprive 32 million Americans the raise they deserve. This is an advisory, not a ruling. VP Harris needs to disregard and rule a $15 minimum wage in order. We were elected to deliver for the people. It's time we do our job," Khanna tweeted.

Here's more on the ruling at the Senate:

Minimum wage increase will not be included in Covid relief bill www.youtube.com

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