Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., on Sunday said he’s pushing for an $11-an-hour minimum wage, insisting it has to be “above the poverty guideline” to acknowledge “the respect and dignity of work.”
In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Manchin said the issue “shouldn’t be a political football.”
“We do the same thing with Social Security, we index that to make sure that inflation and make sure that it moves forward with the CPI,” he said.
According to Manchin, there isn’t one senator that doesn’t want to raise the minimum wage, calling the $7.25 level “sinfully low.”
“We must raise it,” he said, noting that “the poverty guidelines to be above that if you’re going to work and working full-time, should be $11 base….the base of our minimum wage should be above the poverty guideline so you have the respect and dignity of work.”
Manchin also defended the newly passed COVID-19 stimulus bill as “targeted,” insisting there was “tremendous amount of input” from about 20 moderate Republican senators but “they just couldn’t get there at the end.”
The bill passed the Senate over the weekend without one Republican vote.
“This was a targeted piece of legislation. It was because people need the help and we help every scenario,” he said.
“We had an awful lot of input from Republican friends all through this process,” he asserted. “But all the changes that we made that were basically brought into this process came by working with my Republican and Democratic colleagues together. There are about 20 of us that work continuously. So they had tremendous amount of input. They just couldn’t get there at the end."
Manchin said voters expect the “moderate middle” from those who represent them in Washington.
“You’ve got to work a little bit harder when we have this toxic atmosphere and the divisions that we have and the tribal mentality… fight against those urges just to cloister in with your group and say, ‘well, this is where I am,’" he said.
“I always want that moderate middle to be able to work, and that’s where you govern from. That’s where you run your life from.”
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