On Thursday, the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) ran a full-page ad in the Washington, DC edition of the Wall Street Journal, condemning President Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders’ $15 minimum wage hike as part of a coronavirus “relief” package. The ad was released ahead of Sanders’ Senate Budget Committee hearing in support of the proposal.
The ad highlights key findings from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office assessment of Sanders’ plan. The federal minimum wage increase to $15 will not provide relief for businesses, but instead:
- Increase costs for business operators and cause them to “consequently produce fewer goods and services”;
- Result in up to 2.7 million jobs lost for minimum wage workers; and
- Increase unemployment, forcing more Americans onto government assistance.
Just a day earlier, GOP senators held a press conference to express their opposition to inclusion of the $15 minimum wage provision in the current stimulus package. Included in this group was Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who will be present for the hearing tomorrow as the Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee. He reflected:
“What [Democrats] are proposing to do is doubling [the minimum wage] at a time when government and the state and local level is pretty much restricting your ability to earn a living. You want a one-two punch for small businesses, this is it…At the time you’re reducing [businesses] ability to serve their customers, because of Covid concerns, you’re going to double their cost.”