On Monday, Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren drew battle lines in the Senate’s consideration of Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic recovery plan, urging Vice President Kamala Harris to restore the $15 minimum wage hike stripped from the bill by the Senate parliamentarian.
Sanders and Warren will almost certainly lose that fight. Even if Harris overruled the parliamentarian, progressive bêtes noires Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema would withhold their approval from the final package, dooming passage in the evenly-split Senate.
But even in likely defeat, Sanders and Warren are sending a warning message to the Democratic Party: that progressives are uncomfortable at the growing list of President Biden’s first-month concessions. Sacrificing the $15 minimum wage without a firm promise to tackle progressive issues next risks turning that discomfort into fury.