Democrats Vote To Kill Jobs For Low-Wage Workers

42 Senate Democrats Voted For A New Minimum Wage Mandate That Would Cost 1.4 Million Jobs, Of Which ‘A Disproportionate Share’ Would Be Those Of ‘Young, Less Educated People’


42 Senate Democrats voted to include Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) amendment to force all 50 states to increase their minimum wage to $15 per hour in the reconciliation bill, including Sens. Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Michael Bennet (D-CO). (H.R. 1319, Roll Call Vote #74, 3/05/2021; Politico’s Burgess Everett, @burgessev, Twitter, 3/05/2021; The Washington Post’s Erica Werner, @ericawerner, Twitter, 3/05/2021)

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “[W]e know the result of a $15 federal minimum wage increase all at once. 1.4 million lost jobs, that's not what we need in the middle of a pandemic.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Conference, 3/02/2021)

CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE: “Increasing the minimum wage would affect employment in several ways. Higher wages would increase the cost to employers of producing goods and services. Employers would pass some of those increased costs on to consumers in the form of higher prices, and those higher prices, in turn, would lead consumers to purchase fewer goods and services. Employers would consequently produce fewer goods and services, and as a result, they would tend to reduce their employment of workers at all wage levels. When the cost of employing low-wage workers goes up, the relative cost of employing higher-wage workers or investing in machines and technology goes down. Some employers would therefore respond to a higher minimum wage by shifting toward those substitutes and reducing their employment of low-wage workers.” (“The Budgetary Effects of the Raise the Wage Act of 2021,” Congressional Budget Office, 2/08/2021)

  • Taking those factors into account, CBO projects that, on net, the Raise the Wage Act of 2021 would reduce employment by increasing amounts over the 2021–2025 period. In 2025, when the minimum wage reached $15 per hour, employment would be reduced by 1.4 million workers (or 0.9 percent), according to CBO’s average estimate…. Young, less educated people would account for a disproportionate share of those reductions in employment. (“The Budgetary Effects of the Raise the Wage Act of 2021,” Congressional Budget Office, 2/08/2021)


Even Some Democrats Say This Plan Isn’t ‘Responsible And Reasonable,’ ‘Is Not Appropriate,’ And ‘Shouldn’t Be In There,’ Resulting In Bipartisan Opposition

“Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said Tuesday that he does not support increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour — a critical roadblock to including the proposal in the final coronavirus relief bill. ‘No I’m not. I’m supportive of basically having something that’s responsible and reasonable,’ Manchin told The Hill, asked if he is supportive of a $15 per hour minimum wage.” (“Manchin Says He Doesn’t Support Raising Minimum Wage To $15 Per Hour,” The Hill, 2/02/2021)

SEN. KYRSTEN SINEMA (D-AZ): “What’s important is whether or not it’s directly related to short-term Covid relief. And if it’s not, then I am not going to support it in this legislation. The minimum wage provision is not appropriate for the reconciliation process. It is not a budget item. And it shouldn’t be in there.” (“The Most Influential Democrat You Never Hear From,” Politico, 2/12/2021)

SEN. ANGUS KING (I-ME): “If the minimum-wage provision is in the bill with the elimination of the tip credit, it would make it very hard for me to support it…. [A] lot of restaurants are just hanging on by the thread.” (“Minimum-Wage Proposal in Covid-19 Aid Plan Divides Senate Democrats,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/23/2021)



Related Issues: Senate Democrats, Small Business, Jobs