- In a video footage which has been widely shared on social media, Sinema can be seen standing on the House floor, flashing a ‘thumbs down’ when her name was called to vote.
Democrat Senator from Arizona Kyrsten Sinema voted against the motion to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour on Friday. With this she joined 50 Republicans and 6 other Democrats, as well as 1independent Senator who voted against the motion causing it to fail. But it was the way she voted against the motion that caught everyone’s attention.
In a video footage which has been widely shared on social media, Sinema can be seen standing on the House floor, flashing a ‘thumbs down’ when her name was called to vote. Her move reminded many of the famous Republican Senator from Arizona, late John McCain, who voted in the same way in 2017 for repealing the Affordable Care Act.
Sinema’s name trended on Twitter alongside McCain’s but other than the theatrics, the thumbs down vote of both the senators is being compared as both voted against their own parties.
In a statement, Sinema said that she believes the minimum wage hike should be worked on as a separate issue and not with the Covid-19 relief bill. “No person who works full time should live in poverty. Senators in both parties have shown support for raising the federal minimum wage and the Senate should hold an open debate and amendment process on raising the minimum wage, separate from the Covid-focused reconciliation bill,” Sinema said.
The amendment was introduced by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and backed by other progressive senators. Through the amendment, Sanders said that the current $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage will be gradually increased to $15 over five years, starting with an increase to $9.50 this year.
US Congress has not passed a minimum wage increase since 2007 and even then it was not a standalone bill but was included as an amendment to a defense spending bill.
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