Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) are working with a group of 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans on a minimum wage compromise they hope can build bipartisan support after Senate Democrats failed to pass a $15 minimum wage.
Five senators in the group, including Romney, confirmed the existance of the proposal to Forbes, though all were tight-lipped about specific details.
“Yeah, but I’m not gonna share them with you,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told Forbes when asked if she knows specifics, echoing similar responses from Sens. Angus King (I-Maine), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine).
HuffPost first reported the effort, with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a member of the group, telling the outlet, “I think it’s $11.”
The group consists of several Democrats who voted against the Sanders bill, including Sinema and Manchin, as well as Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Angus King (I-Me.).
The group’s support would likely be critical for any minimum wage proposal to pass, given that 10 Republican votes are needed to overcome a Senate filibuster – though progressives like Sanders may put up opposition.
Romney was a key opponent of the $15 minimum wage bill Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tried to pass in March, introducing a counter-proposal with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) to raise it to $10 along with a mandate for employers to use E-Verify check the legal status of workers. Romney wouldn’t say whether E-Verify would be included in his new proposal.
Note: This piece initially suggested the proposal is expected to be $11, but none of the senators who spoke to Forbes would confirm Manchin’s figure.