GOP Sens. Romney, Cotton to propose minimum wage hike coupled with immigration enforcement

As Democrats strive to plot a method ahead to raise the minimum wage to $15-an-hour, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, introduced Tuesday that he is engaged on a separate invoice to enhance the lengthy stagnant minimum wage whereas “ensuring businesses cannot hire illegal immigrants.”

Romney stated he is engaged on the invoice with Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and it additionally features a provision for the minimum wage to “increase automatically with inflation.”

Increasing the minimum wage is a precedence for the Biden administration, however Democrats have been split on one of the best path ahead.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, the top of the Senate Budget Committee and a longtime proponent of elevating the minimum wage, is pushing for the measure to be included within the Covid-19 reduction invoice and handed by price range reconciliation, which might permit them to keep away from the filibuster and cross the measure with none Republican help. Some Democrats are involved the Senate guidelines may not permit the minimum wage hike to be utilized in reconciliation.

Romney stated his invoice would increase the minimum wage “gradually” however didn’t say to what quantity or over what time frame.

“Congress hasn’t raised the minimum wage in more than a decade, leaving many Americans behind. Our proposal gradually raises the minimum wage without costing jobs, setting it to increase automatically with inflation, and requires employers to verify the legal status of workers,” Romney wrote in a pair of tweets concerning the proposed laws.

A spokesperson for Romney informed NBC News the invoice textual content remains to be being labored on, and is anticipated to be unveiled subsequent week when senators return from recess.

In his personal series of tweets on the proposed invoice, Cotton stated the rise would “go into effect after the pandemic has ended and include protections for small businesses.”

The Democratic-controlled House Education and Labor Committee earlier this month authorized a Covid-19 reduction invoice that features a wage hike from $7.25 an hour to $15 over 4 years.

A report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office final week found {that a} $15 wage would convey virtually 1 million folks out of poverty within the subsequent 4 years and increase cumulative pay by $509 billion for employees who get raises. But it might additionally increase the debt by $54 billion and price 1.4 million jobs.

President Joe Biden, who campaigned on a $15 wage and included it in his $1.9 trillion reduction plan, has stated he would not assume the wage hike would “survive” due to Senate guidelines, and has floated a “separate negotiation” for a wage hike up to $15.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday declined to reply a query about whether or not the administration could be open to increasing the period of time to hit the $15 benchmark, and stated they’re going to “let the process play out” in Congress.

“The president put an increase in the minimum wage in the initial package because he thinks it’s important,” Psaki stated. “And I’m not going to negotiate what he’d be open to and not from the podium.”

Julie Tsirkin contributed.

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