WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- GOP Sens. Mitt Romney (UT.) and Tom Cotton (AR.) will initiate a bill, seeking to raise American’s minimum wage and prohibiting illegal immigrants from taking jobs.
- President Joe Biden has included a $15 wage hike in his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.
- Cotton said that they’re planning to enforce the wage hike after the pandemic.
Republican Senators Mitt Romney (UT.) and Tom Cotton (AR.) will file a measure that would seek to increase the minimum wage of American workers and would restrict illegal immigrants from getting jobs.
Both senators revealed their intention on Twitter Tuesday to introduce a legislation “that would increase the minimum wage while ensuring businesses cannot hire illegal immigrants. We must protect American workers.”
“Congress hasn’t raised the minimum wage in more than a decade, leaving many Americans behind,” Romney wrote. “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.”
“Today, Americans have to compete against millions of illegal immigrants who take illegally low wages under the table,” Cotton tweeted on his part about the bill. “We can fix this by requiring employers to verify the legal status of every worker so they can’t undercut Americans on the black market.”
“We have an obligation to protect our workers and fellow citizens. This common-sense proposal will give millions of Americans the raise they deserve,” the Arkansas lawmaker concluded.
In his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, President Joe Biden said that he included a $15 federal minimum wage hike, though he noted that he doesn’t expect it to be part of the final measure when the series of ongoing negotiations are finished.
The White House had a sit-down meeting with several Republican senators in late January and made a counteroffer of $600 billion relief aid. Senator Susan Collins (ME.) was one of the GOP senators who denounced the plan of having the minimum wage hike as part of the COVID-19 proposed bill.
When pressed during Tuesday’s press briefing if the president was welcoming the idea to increase the discussion duration to increase the wage, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that they would “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. And I’m not going to negotiate what he’d be open to and not from the podium.”
In their proposal, Cotton noted that the wage hike would begin after the pandemic. It would also involve protections for small businesses that would likely get support from Senate GOPs who pushed for liability protections under any COVID-19-based proposal.
The Post has already requested a comment to the White House regarding Romney and Cotton’s proposed measure but did not receive an immediate response.
Source: New York Post