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Arizona Sen. Sinema discusses support for increase in federal minimum

Updated: Mar. 19, 2021 at 4:43 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - In an interview only on KOLD News 13, Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said she’d like to see the federal minimum wage increase.

There are questions about what she’d vote for though.

Sen. Sinema is facing questions about the minimum wage since joining seven other Democrats in voting down the Raise the Wage Act.

That would have been included in President Joe Biden’s almost $2 trillion COVID-19 relief plan.

Sinema said the way the Senate was passing bill wasn’t the right way to also pass a minimum wage hike. That process is called reconciliation.

“Reconciliation is a fancy word for budget process,” she said. “And so you can only put spending packages together in reconciliation and the minimum wage proposal wasn’t a spending provision. The government doesn’t spend money on minimum wage, they set the minimum wage and then businesses across the country need to follow it.”

Sinema isn’t committing to a dollar-figure she’d vote for, but she said she’d like to see a plan mirror the way Arizona increased the minimum wage.

“I recommend that the federal government look at Arizona’s system and model a federal minimum wage after what we’ve done in Arizona, which is to set an indexed minimum wage that rises each year along with inflation and spending,,” she said.

When pressed, a Sinema spokesperson said she doesn’t preview votes, especially when there’s no proposal on the floor.

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