Iowa Democrat Rep. Axne pushes for minimum wage hike despite admitting it could hurt rural workers

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA) speaks during news conference discussing the "Shutdown to End All Shutdowns (SEAS) Act" on January 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. Also pictured is Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN). (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA) speaks during news conference discussing the "Shutdown to End All Shutdowns (SEAS) Act" on January 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. Also pictured is Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN). (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 29: Rep. Cindy Axne spoke during a news conference on January 29, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 3:36 PM PT – Friday, March 5, 2021

Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa) is continuing her push for a $15 an hour federal minimum wage, despite the negative impacts it could have on her state.

During a local interview on Thursday, Axne discussed the pros and cons of hiking the minimum wage. She said as a small business owner, she sees how the policy could cause harm to rural industries across her state.

However, Axne argued not implementing the policy would drive a substantial part of the younger workforce out of Iowa.

“I want to get us there, because we cannot have a state like Iowa not have $15 an hour, because then we’ll see a brain drain, and more of our younger Iowans leaving our state to go to states surrounding us that have it,” Axne stated. “We’ll also see businesses come in that pay low. That’s not the kind of businesses we want in Iowa.”

Axne said to have a $15 federal minimum wage, lawmakers need to implement other measures to help out small businesses. She urged other lawmakers to propose a gradual increase in the federal minimum wage and a program phasing-in tax credits for small businesses.

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