9 Feb

Minimum Wage

Business Groups Push Back On $15 Minimum Wage Initiative

Politico (2/5, Oprysko) reports, “A coalition of business groups are pushing back against congressional Democrats’ push to raise the minimum wage to $15.” The National Federation of Independent Business was among the more than 30 groups that “wrote to the top lawmakers on the House and Senate labor committees on Thursday, warning that raising the minimum wage now would only compound the economic pain businesses are facing because of the pandemic, resulting in either a reduced workforce or increased prices for consumers.”

Roll Call (2/8, Zeller) reported on the debate over raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, noting “12 House Democrats are on the record preferring to allow regional differences based on the cost of living. The group, led by Alabama’s Terri A. Sewell, sponsored 2019 legislation to implement their proposal.” Roll Call added the “economics of raising the wage, of course, are hotly contested. Detractors say it would cost jobs in low cost-of-living, rural areas, and leading employer groups like the Business Roundtable prefer Sewell’s idea. But the large companies that are among its members can weather wage increases.” NFIB Vice President of Federal Government Relations Kevin Kuhlman was quoted saying, “Companies listed on Wall Street may support a much higher minimum wage because it would give them a competitive advantage, but a hike would make it that much harder for Main Street to even continue to exist.”

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