When President Joe Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal earlier this month, few were surprised by the plan’s hefty price tag or sweeping scope.
More striking was Mr. Biden’s inclusion of a measure to more than double the federal minimum wage to $15.
The move, backed by leading Democrats, including left-wing Senator Bernie Sanders, establishes the fight for higher wages as a top priority for the new administration, potentially leading to one of Washington’s boldest adjustments in U.S. social and labour policy in decades.
The fate of the initiative — which so far lacks support from Republicans — will help determine whether Mr. Biden delivers on a core pocketbook issue as U.S. income inequality widens during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Sanders called the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour a “starvation wage” as he unveiled the proposal for an increase in Congress.