UPDATED 4:35 PM PT – Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Senate Republicans opposed a push from the left for a $15 federal minimum wage. During a press conference Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said the wage increase is part of what he calls a “liberal wish list.” He also noted it is totally unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Participating in a press conference on the $15 per hour minimum wage.
A nationwide $15 an hour minimum wage will increase costs to business at the same time governments are mandating restrictions on their operations.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) February 24, 2021
Other senators said the move would make no sense to do everywhere in the country, especially considering the cost of living varies by state. They also warned such a dramatic change would be irresponsible and could put small businesses at the risk of going at a time when many are already struggling.
“In the middle of a pandemic where nearly 11 million Americans have already lost their jobs,” Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said. “The last thing you do is increase the cost on businesses, which will according to the CBO, at least shutter 1.4 million jobs.”
As a child who grew up working jobs under the min. wage, & as a business owner that paid over the min. wage, I know this mandate will kill jobs & destroy our small businesses.
In fact, the CBO reports a loss of 1.4 million jobs.
The Dems $15 min wage hike doesn’t make sense. pic.twitter.com/lKGOONC33F
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) February 24, 2021
While the House considers a relief package that includes a $15 federal minimum wage proposal, it is unclear if it will end up in the Senate’s version of the bill.