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GOP Field on Minimum Wage: We're Gonna Need You To Go Ahead And Earn Just $15,000 A Year

Across the board, the out-of-touch GOP candidates on stage tonight oppose raising the minimum wage and giving America’s working families a desperately-needed raise:

  • Marco Rubio, despite recently conceding that “you can’t live on $11 an hour,” has twice voted against increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour — and he remains opposed to any increases.
  • Jeb Bush opposed increasing the minimum wage as governor of Florida, and he continues to oppose any increases to the federal minimum wage. Jeb’s solution? “People need to work longer hours.”
  • Ted Cruz has, like Marco Rubio, twice voted against raising the minimum wage. Inexplicably, Cruz claimed that raising the wage would atually be detrimental to workers.
  • John Kasich suggested that the minimum wage should be a state-level issue. If elected, he’ll make sure “we don’t raise the minimum wage willy-nilly.”
  • And frontrunner Donald Trump, “not a big fan” of the minimum wage, in general, would keep it “pretty much where it is right now.”

The breadth of the GOP field is callously oblivious to the challenges faced by working families. And Marco Rubio is the worst of the bunch, because he acknowledges that even $11 an hour — let alone $7.25 — isn’t a living wage, but nonetheless, like the rest of field, refuses to do anything about it.

Background:

REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES OPPOSE BOOSTING THE MINIMUM WAGE

Rubio

Rubio Admitted $11 Per Hour Was Too Little To Live On…

Rubio: “You Can’t Live On $10 An Hour. You Can’t Live On $11 An Hour.” [Caplin House Party, NH, 7:40, 10/14/15]

Rubio said: “I’m not in favor of getting rid of the minimum wage completely, what I’ve argued against is increasing it.” [Rubio discussion at Civic Hall, 10/6/15][SD2]

…But Opposed Raising Federal Minimum Wage Above $7.25

Rubio Said That While He Did Not Want To Repeal The Federal Minimum Wage Of $7.25, He Opposed Raising It. According to Bloomberg, “Rubio said he didn’t want to repeal the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, but he also opposes Democrats’ efforts to raise it. ‘Well, I’m not in favor of repealing what we have now. I just don’t think the minimum wage increase is the best way to increase wages for Americans,’ he said, touting his plans to lower business taxes and encourage alternative forms of education. He argued that a high minimum wage would lead to ‘higher prices and less employment.’” [Bloomberg, 8/26/15]

Rubio Voted Twice Against Raising The Minimum Wage

2015: Rubio Voted Against Raising The Federal Minimum Wage By An Unspecified Amount. In March 2015, Rubio voted against an amendment that, according to Congressional Quarterly, “would [have] create[d] a deficit neutral reserve fund to allow for legislation that would increase the federal minimum wage.” The Senate rejected the proposed amendment to its version of the FY 2016 budget resolution by a vote of 48 to 52. [Senate Vote 93, 3/26/15; Congressional Quarterly, 3/26/15; Congressional Actions, S. Con. Res. 11]

2014: Rubio Effectively Voted Against Raising The Federal Minimum Wage By Nearly Three Dollars, To $10.10, By 2016. In April 2014, Rubio effectively voted against a bill that, according to Congressional Quarterly, “would [have] increase[d] the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 by 2016. It would gradually increase the minimum cash wage for workers who receive tips until it equals 70 percent of the federal minimum wage for other workers. It also would amend the tax code to extend through 2016 the $500,000 cap for small business expensing of investments eligible for deductions, including allowances for computer software and qualified real property.” The vote was on a motion to end debate on the motion to proceed to consider the legislation, which required 60 votes to succeed. The Senate rejected the motion by a vote 54 to 42. [Senate Vote 117, 4/30/14; Congressional Quarterly, 4/30/14]

Bush

Opposed Raising The Minimum Wage

Jeb Bush Said He Opposes Raising The Federal Minimum Wage And Opposed Raising The Florida Minimum Wage As Governor. According to the Associated Press, “As governor, Bush opposed a 2004 ballot measure approved by voters in Florida that tied increases in the state minimum wage to inflation. Asked about the minimum wage at a pair of appearances on Tuesday, he said he doesn’t want to abolish the existing federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, but also opposes raising it.” [Associated Press, 3/17/15]

Cruz

Cruz Opposed Raising The Minimum Wage

2014: Cruz Opposed Raising The Minimum Wage. According to CBS News, “Students asked Sen. Cruz for his thoughts on immigration reform, Russia, ways to get the GOP vote and minimum wage. On the subject of minimum wage Sen. Cruz says that he feels jobs would be eliminated by the minimum wage hike. He says he doesn’t think it’s a good idea.” [CBS News, 4/2/14]

Cruz Voted Twice Against Raising The Minimum Wage

March 2015: Cruz Voted Against Raising The Federal Minimum Wage By An Unspecified Amount. In March 2015, Cruz voted against an amendment that, according to Congressional Quarterly, “would [have] create[d] a deficit neutral reserve fund to allow for legislation that would increase the federal minimum wage.” The Senate rejected the proposed amendment to its version of the FY 2016 budget resolution by a vote of 48 to 52. [Senate Vote 93, 3/26/15; Congressional Quarterly, 3/26/15; Congressional Actions, S. Con. Res. 11]

April 2014: Cruz Effectively Voted Against Raising The Federal Minimum Wage By Nearly Three Dollars, To $10.10, By 2016. In April 2014, Cruz effectively voted against a bill that, according to Congressional Quarterly, “would [have] increase[d] the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 by 2016. It would gradually increase the minimum cash wage for workers who receive tips until it equals 70 percent of the federal minimum wage for other workers. It also would amend the tax code to extend through 2016 the $500,000 cap for small business expensing of investments eligible for deductions, including allowances for computer software and qualified real property.” The vote was on a motion to end debate on the motion to proceed to consider the legislation, which required 60 votes to succeed. The Senate rejected the motion by a vote 54 to 42. [Senate Vote 117, 4/30/14; Congressional Quarterly, 4/30/14]

Cruz Claimed Raising The Minimum Wage Was Harmful To Workers

Cruz: “I Think The Minimum Wage Consistently Hurts The Most Vulnerable.” According to Bloomberg, “Cruz picked up that theme. ‘I think it’s important to look at who loses out,’ he said, mentioning charts (he loves charts) on this topic that he’d printed up for his Senate colleagues. One chart said $0.00 was the ‘real Obama minimum wage’ because so many people would lose jobs under his plan. Another chart had the number $46.98, he said, which is the average hourly wage of an oil and gas worker in North Dakota. Karl pressed Cruz on whether to have any minimum wage at all. He answered, ‘I think the minimum wage consistently hurts the most vulnerable.’” [Bloomberg, 1/26/15]

Trump

Trump Opposed Raising The Minimum Wage…

Trump Said He Was “Not A Big Fan” Of Raising The Minimum Wage. In an interview with Stuart Varney on Fox Business News, Varney asked Trump about a $15 an hour minimum wage. Trump responded, “One of the reasons companies are leaving is because salaries are too high. […] So we have to be very very careful with that, that sounds so easy, but we have to be very very competitive or we’re going to lose all of our jobs in this country. […] I’m not a big fan because I want to be competitive with other countries.” [9:10-9:33, Fox News, 10/21/15]

August 2015: Trump Said Raising The Minimum Wage Would Hurt America’s Competitiveness. According to NBC, “Donald Trump said as president he would keep the minimum wage ‘pretty much where it is right now,’ because hiking it would hurt America’s competitiveness globally. But in a wide-ranging interview that aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he insisted that under a President Trump the minimum wage would be a non-issue. ‘I’m going to bring jobs back— You will even be surprised, Chuck, you will be very surprised. So that we won’t even have to be talking about the minimum wage,’ he told host Chuck Todd.” [NBC, 8/16/15]

Kasich

Kasich, 2015: “Don’t Raise The Minimum Wage Willy-Nilly.” According to the Hill, “Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) has walked back cautious support for a minimum wage increase as he framed the issue as one that should be left to the states. ‘It’s very important that we don’t raise the minimum wage willy-nilly and we end up throwing out of work the lowest and the most unskilled workers,’ Kasich said Sunday on ‘Fox News Sunday.’ ‘If you are going to have a raise in the minimum wage, it ought to be something that gets calculated between employers and labor. And I fundamentally believe it ought to be done at the same level.’” [The Hill, 9/14/15]

2015: Kasich Argued States Should Deal With Minimum Wage, Not Federal Government.According to the Columbus Dispatch, “Gov. John Kasich gave a mixed message today on whether he supports increasing the federal minimum wage. ‘What I think is important on that is we all want to see it go up, but we don’t want to have the unintended consequences of having people lose their jobs,’ Kasich said in response to a question from reporters after a crowded campaign rally at a picturesque country store on the banks of the Merrimack River. But he also said it should be states that deal with the minimum wage, noting that the head of Dublin-based Wendy’s has threatened to install kiosks instead of employing workers if the mandated base pay goes too high. ‘It’s about balance,’ Kasich said. ‘I would prefer for the states to deal with it at this point that like we do.” [Columbus Dispatch, 9/2/15]