Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) painted a devastatingly clear picture of just how many Americans could lose jobs under the proposed minimum wage increase.
The House is set to vote on increasing the minimum wage to $15 from the current minimum wage of $7.75 by 2024. As IJR previously reported, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that this wage increase could kill millions of jobs.
During their weekly press conference, Scalise addressed the Democratic support for raising the minimum wage despite clear evidence that Americans will lose jobs if the bill becomes law. He painted a dark picture of just how devastating that many lost jobs could be.
Watch Scalise’s comments:
“There’s more opportunity than we’ve ever seen. There are more job openings than there are people looking for work. And at that time, you would think the Democrats would want to be working with us to build on that economic success and instead you see Speaker Pelosi bringing this bill to the floor that would eviscerate millions of American jobs. The CBO report on the minimum wage bill shows that there would be up to 3.7 million jobs lost. That’s literally the entire state of Oklahoma. That’s how many jobs would be lost under this bill.”
Scalise also highlighted that cities across the United States have attempted to raise the minimum wage to devastating effect on their workers. He pointed to one report that found workers in Seattle, Washington ended up earning less money after the minimum wage increased.
“In Seattle they actually did this back in 2014. They increased their minimum wage to $15, and then the University of Washington, after three years of actual data, seeing what really happened in Seattle, the University of Washington did a study to see how this worked. And let me tell you, it was devastating for families in Seattle. And the most devastated were low-income families. It showed there were millions of work hours lost, gone away. So even if you had a higher wage, you were working less time so you saw your income drop.”
The minority whip called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to work with Republicans on maintaining the booming economy, rather than feel-good legislation that could kill jobs.