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Democrats work to make a higher minimum wage a reality; Sen. Cassidy says it would cost jobs

Updated: Feb. 10, 2021 at 6:05 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Many people say the federal minimum wage is not a living wage and President Joe Biden wants to raise it to $15 an hour but U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Republican from Louisiana, says forcing small businesses to pay that wage will cost jobs.

Biden met with members of large corporations and members of the financial community this week to talk about the economy and the minimum wage.

In an interview with CBS News that aired on Super Bowl Sunday Biden conceded that his wage increase proposal might not be a part of the final COVID-19 relief package.

Still, Democrats on Capitol Hill are fighting to make sure that the proposal is included in the new coronavirus relief proposal.

Cassidy pointed to information that came from a congressional entity as he spoke about how a $15 minimum wage could be harmful to workers and businesses.

“The Congressional Budget Office estimates that, that will result in 1.4 million Americans being unemployed. When I speak to these small employers, restaurants, for example, barely hanging on with COVID, if they would have to start raising the wages of their staff, they would just close their doors,” said Cassidy.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said Democrats were working to overcome a potential procedural obstacle that could keep them from including the wage hike in the COVID-19 relief bill.

“We’re trying to work as well as we can with the parliamentarian to get minimum wage to happen,” said Schumer.

Biden’s plan would achieve the wage hike over five years.

The last time the minimum wage was raised was in 2009. It remains at $7.25 an hour.

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