WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats are not backing off a push to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said last week that the provision raising the minimum wage will be in the next coronavirus relief bill that House Democrats are hoping to send to the Senate in the coming weeks. Pelosi said she was “proud” of the measure saying 27 million people in the US stand to get a raise with the provision with a majority of them being women.
Republicans are scoffing at the measure, one of them Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana, who is saying once again that $15 minimum wage increase makes no economic sense.
“I always prided in raising wages in my own business doing the old fashioned way where you do it through the system,” Braun told Fox Business over the weekend. “It actually was working across the board, pre-COVID, where wages were rising in place they never did before.”
Braun said a “one size fits all” approach to raising the minimum wage doesn’t work insofar as “what might work in New York City may not work in Indiana.”
“You might get some benefits from raising incomes,” he acknowledged. “But, your gonna lose somewhere between a million and a million-and-a-half jobs, many of them in the most hard-hit area of restaurants.”
Braun said with restaurants operating with a tip-wage system, most servers are already making above what equates to a 15-dollar-an-hour minimum wage. He said raising the federal minimum wage would force restaurants to do away with that system and then servers would make less money.
Pelosi is hoping to pass a COVID relief bill, with the $15/hr minimum wage provision within it, in the next two weeks.
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