Last night, Elizabeth MacDonough, the Senate Parliamentarian, ruled that a federal minimum wage increase would be ineligible under reconciliation rules, effectively killing it as a component of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. To be eligible for action in the US Senate via reconciliation under the so-called Byrd Rule (authored by and named for the late West Virginia Senator Robert C. Byrd), the matter must have more of an impact on spending or revenue than a “merely incidental” impact. Republicans have argued the budgetary impact of a minimum wage increase is indeed “merely incidental”, while the majority democrats have proposed that a minimum wage increase would have a significant impact on the budget because the increased compensation for employees would reduce the need for federal financial assistance, and hence, the federal budget outlay. The Senate could vote to overrule the MacDonough decision however that is highly unlikely given that moderate Senator Joe Manchin, who ironically won the Senate seat in a special election to fill the seat after Robert Byrd died in office back in 2010, had already committed to President Biden and Senate leadership that he will absolutely uphold the Byrd Rule regardless.