House Dem Press Forward With $15 Minimum Wage Despite CBO’s Dire Job Loss Warning
House Democrats have not given up the fight to raise the minimum wage to $15, with the House Committee on Education approving an amendment that would see the provision added to Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package.
“It’s a wrap, $15 #MinimumWage passes the [Education and Labor] committee after more than 13 hours of debate,” Rep. Ilhan Omar said on Twitter early Wednesday morning.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 10, 2021
The move is sure to draw the ire of Republicans, especially those that also introduced what they felt were “common sense” amendments to the legislation.
From Fox News:
House Republicans voiced their displeasure with the committee’s action on Wednesday.
“Once again, Democrats are ignoring vulnerable, hardworking Americans, choosing instead to favor left wing special interests and those who support their radical agenda,” ranking member Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., said in a statement. “Forcing children to miss out on a high-quality, in-person education while cherry picking the schools that receive relief and championing a job-destroying $15 national minimum wage hike is hardly ‘bold relief.'”
Foxx also blasted committee Democrats for voting down Republicans’ “commonsense amendments,” including an amendment to block funding for higher education institutions linked to the Chinese government.
“At 3 am, House Democrats voted against my amendment which would have prohibited funds to higher education institutions who partner with the Chinese Communist Party,” Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
Studies have found that raising the minimum wage could come with unintended consequences, including more automation, hurting small businesses, and higher prices.
A recent study by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that the proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour would result in the loss of 1.4 million jobs but would only lift 900,000 workers out of poverty.
“Higher wages would increase the cost to employers of producing goods and services,” the CBO concluded. “Employers would pass some of those increased costs on to consumers in the form of higher prices, and those higher prices, in turn, would lead consumers to purchase fewer goods and services. Employers would consequently produce fewer goods and services, and as a result, they would tend to reduce their employment of workers at all wage levels.”
Meanwhile, Biden’s economic adviser Jared Bernstein effectively argued that we should all stop “focusing on the big negatives” of the minimum wage and support it anyway.
The House effort faces an uncertain future in the Senate, where lawmakers there have already voted not to include a raise in the minimum wage to Biden’s stimulus package.
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