President Barack Obama used his weekly radio address Saturday to call for Congress to act on raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
“Right now, there’s a bill that would boost America’s minimum wage to ten dollars and ten cents an hour,” Obama said. “That would lift wages for nearly 28 million Americans across the country. 28 million.”
“And while not all of us always see eye to eye politically, one thing we overwhelmingly agree on is that nobody who works full-time should ever have to live in poverty,” he continued. “That’s why nearly three in four Americans support raising the minimum wage. The problem is, Republicans in Congress don’t support raising the minimum wage.”
Republicans contend a minimum wage hike would have undesired effects, including eliminating thousands of jobs.
In an April 1 report, the Senate Republican Policy Committee cited a Congressional Budget Office report that estimated that “once fully implemented in the second half of 2016, the $10.10 option would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers, or 0.3 percent.”
The non-partisan CBO, however, did note in that report that “most” low-wage earners “would receive higher pay that would increase their family’s income” as a result of a minimum wage increase.
Republicans, however, appear to think the cons outweigh the pros.
“[T]he minimum wage has the potential to cause unintended consequences that do greater harm to the people they claim to want to help,” the Senate Republican Policy Committee concluded in their report.
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