Minimum wage hike all but dead in Senate virus relief bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats’ efforts to include a minimum wage increase in their huge COVID-19 relief bill seem all but dead. That’s become clear as Senate leaders prepare to bring their own version of the House-passed aid package to the chamber’s floor as early as Wednesday. Aides say top Democrats have abandoned a potential amendment threatening tax increases on big companies that don’t boost workers’ pay to certain levels. Four days ago the Senate parliamentarian said the chamber’s rules forbade inclusion of a straight-out minimum wage increase in the relief measure. For now, Democrats seemed to have exhausted their most realistic options for quickly salvaging the pay hike.