Progressives Push Harris To Overrule Parliamentarian After Dems Drop Minimum Wage Workaround

In a last-ditch effort, House progressives urged Vice President Kamala Harris Monday morning to overrule the Senate parliamentarian and clear the way for a minimum wage increase to be written into the COVID-19 relief package. 

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

The old guard always has some other level of built in control.

Parliamentarian my dunger.


As I understood it, if Harris overruled the Parliamentarian it would almost certainly withstand the first vote which requires 60 but not a second which would only require a majority. But of course that wouldn’t matter because both Manchin and Sinema have apparently made it clear they would vote against Harris’s ruling and a $15/hr minimum wage in the disaster relief bill regardless.

With friends like this …

So, screw it, make it a stand-alone bill, let everyone go on the record when they vote, and see if you can raise the Senate temperature enough to get the support needed to remove or dramatically curtail the filibuster.


The masses want results. Come election time, they aren’t going to give one fuck if the r’s are being mean. If Democrats don’t do the things we elected them to do, folks either aren’t going to show up to vote, or they’ll vote for the other side.


The “Masses” have the attention span of a small rodent.

Passing the major Pandemic bill will get attention.

Hard Left "Progressives’ should stop being Purity Ponies dug into to making the Perfect the Enemy of the Good.

15 does not have wide enough support.
11-12 does.

Get through the major bill now, no delays.

Develop for minimum wage a stand-alone bill or attach to another with the level that has support now and get that increase now

Rather than bogging down in Purity Pony politics.


I guess we’ll see about that next November.


“The vice president’s not going to weigh in,” Mr. Deese, director of the National Economic Council, said on CNBC. “The president and the vice president both respect the parliamentarian’s decision and the process.”

Whatever the real reason, this is just silly - respect the process. Like the republicans always do? At some point the dems need to start acting like they won, or at least come up with better excuses.


It seems kind a pointless before they have a formulation that can actually get 50 votes (+Harris) in Senate…?


When the Repubs go low, we go low?

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In other COVID-19 news:


Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who were leading the charge, reportedly gave up as they faced the uphill battle of trying to get the whole Democratic caucus and White House on board

Susan Sarandon’s fault, I’m sure!

Maybe even Ralph Nader’s.


Manchin and Sinema have to face their own voters, not Generic National Party nor Squad nor Coastal Urban voters, their own voters.

So they support what they support, rather than people getting mad at them, work with it.

in any case Josh had wise comments some days ago about magical thinking and deceptive promises:

… But this brings me to a more general point which was lurking in the background in yesterday’s posts. There’s a recurring pattern in the permanent and mostly healthy pull and tug between more institutional/coalitional parts of the Democratic party and the left progressive wing of the party. That is that members of the latter group will claim that the solution to this or that problem is in fact easy, a slamdunk and a no brainer when in fact in many cases it won’t work at all or carries high, high risks.

This 60 vote gambit is an example. Assume the claim is accurate in itself. There’s still the fact that at least two Senate Democrats say they will vote against the whole COVID relief bill if Democrats go that route. … As I said, I think the whole thing probably turns out not even to be true. But even if it is the fact that Democrats don’t even have the votes for the bill itself is something you’re going to be thinking about a lot if you’re the one quarterbacking the whole legislative process – which is to say if your Joe Biden or Ron Klain or Chuck Schumer.

… The problem is that when you convince your supporters that something is easy and just sitting there waiting to be done and the folks in charge refuse to do it you send a crippling, demoralizing and fissiparous message. If this whole minimum wage thing is easily solvable and Joe Biden or Chuck Schumer refuse to solve it that must mean that they don’t care that much about it. … Maybe the fix is in somehow. That’s obviously a very damaging message when you’re trying to keep a political coalition together, all the more so if it’s based, more or less, on lying to your supporters.

Dem Senators facing electorates that are to the Right of much of the ‘Progressive’ Lefty Left preferences face their own reality.

Better to find ways to meet them half-way as for the sake of the fucking sanity of this country, No center-righty Dems are not “just like Republicans” and we have just spent 4 years experiencing what the current Republican party is, and the They’re Both the Same idiocy has got to stop.


I’m not sure this is the time to overrule the parliamentarian.
As Josh wrote yesterday, Manchin has voiced opposition to the raise and Sinema’s support is problematic. I don’t know what the price of overruling the parliamentarian may be (although the reactionaries are sure to try to extract one,) but it seems best to pay it for a bill that will pass. Without that guarantee, I can’t see that this is a desirable move.
h/t @Fellows


Or you can simply look at the volume of Political Science and existing documentation on elections that highlight this reality - outside of course the narrow minorities of political activists on Left and Right.

Its a damn reality.


To do it without the votes one would subsequently need? I agree.


Push for a standalone bill at $12-$13 an hour AND indexed annually to inflation so that we don’t have to wait for the magical window-of-opportunity that occurs once every 10-15 years at best to raise it again. And if that doesn’t pull 10 GOP senators aboard, turn up the heat on both Machin/Sinema and the filibuster rule.


Sources say:

Nobody is overruling the Parliamentarian.



If you’re going to pull a trigger – and let’s face it, our powder is severely limited due to the razor-thin majority, the public posturing of Manchin/Sinema, and the closing window of opportunity before the next election cycle ramps into full speed – pull the filibuster trigger.

Pull that trigger, and you don’t have to worry about filibusters killing a minimum-wage hike.

Or voting-rights reform.

Or anything else – ever again – that the vast majority of Americans support, but which an egregiously undemocratic and archaic legacy of slave-state traitors allows a GOP minority to sit on in perpetuity.

That a quarter (or so) of the electorate gets to dictate their rural, red-state idiocy to hundreds of millions of Americans – in 2021 – is an unacceptable travesty of scandalous proportions.

(ETA: And if you think Manchin and Sinema are steadfast in their posturing against filibuster reform, just find the right issue, and they’ll cave like an unregulated West Virginia mine rather than let their ox be gored.)


I’d rather look at it from the point of view of those that would benefit from us fulfilling the promises that we ran on. If it were me, and I was one of the 81 million people that voted for this, then I wouldn’t bother showing up for them again when they fucking gave up because it looked like it would be hard to do. This isn’t even a centerist vs “purity pony” argument. It’s a “keep your damned promise” argument.


Framing this like it’s solely Harris’s decision is quite out of touch with reality. Harris is the VP, certainly part of the process they are working through, but Biden is the President, Klain the chief of staff. They are trying to figure it out. But it’s not like Harris can just waltz in on Biden while he’s eating his morning piece of toast and say, “Joe, I’ve decided to overrule it.”