For the strongest liberals both inside and outside the halls of Congress, the proposed $15 an hour federal minimum wage is not just a technical issue to be settled by the Senate parliamentarian, but an important test of the Left’s power in a capital that is narrowly, but uniformly, under Democratic control.
The minimum wage increase is popular. A Reuters/Ipsos poll found that respondents favored the $15 wage 59% to 34%, with support only falling to 55% when the projected job losses were mentioned. A Harris poll showed 83% believed the current federal minimum of $7.25 an hour is too low. A Pew Research Center survey last year found two-thirds of Americans backed the $15 number.