Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is urging his Democratic colleagues to ''think long and hard'' about raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, ''because at a time when business is barely making it, if this ever became law, we would crush them.''
''There will be a time to increase the minimum wage but during the COVID crisis, this is the worst possible time to increase mandates on small businesses because they’re barely making it to begin with,'' Graham said during a Senate Budget Committee hearing on whether taxpayers should subsidize poverty wages at large profitable corporations.
''I look forward to working with you about how could we, in a responsible way, to increase wages but right now is not that time, in my view. … I would just implore (you) to think of what we’re doing, at a time where restaurants, hotels are barely hanging on because of the restrictions on travel.''
Congress is preparing to vote on legislation that would gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Retailers that already do so include Amazon, Target and Best Buy. The CEO of Costco in Thursday’s hearing said the company will raise its minimum wage to $16 an hour starting next week.
The plan would cut employment by 1.4 million jobs in 2025 and increase the budget deficit by $54 billion over the next 10 years, according to a report published by the Congressional Budget Office. But the wage increase would also lift 900,000 Americans out of poverty.
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