Jan 28, 2014

FACT CHECK: Speaker Boehner Falsely Claims Minimum Wage Hike Would Hurt Minorities

Earlier today Speaker John Speaker denounced President Obama’s decision to raise minimum wage for federal contractors saying a national minimum wage hike would “hurt minorities.”

In reality, minorities – especially African Americans – are overrepresented in the poverty-wage workforce and would substantially benefit from a raise in the minimum wage according to a study by the Economic Policy Institute. Democrats proposed a minimum wage increase but every one of Boehner’s House Republicans voted against it

“Instead of lending a hand to strengthen millions of African American middle class families and grow the economy by raising wages to reward hard work, Speaker Boehner would rather sit on his hands and leave them out in the cold,” said Tyrone Gayle, DCCC Deputy National Press Secretary and African American Media Advisor. “This is a classic case of the wrong priorities that led to Speaker Boehner and his Tea Party shutting down the government, refusing to extend unemployment benefits and stacking the deck for their special interest donors instead of hardworking families.”

BACKGROUND:

Headline: Boehner Warns Minimum Wage Hike Will Hurt Minorities [ABC News, 1/28/14]

Economic Policy Institute: Raising the Minimum Wage Would Benefit as Many as 30 Million Americans, Generate 140,000 New Jobs. According to the Economic Policy Institute, “Increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 by July 1, 2015, would raise the wages of about 30 million workers, who would receive over $51 billion in additional wages over the phase-in period. […] Across the phase-in period of the minimum-wage increase, GDP would increase by roughly $32.6 billion, resulting in the creation of approximately 140,000 net new jobs (and 284,000 job years) over that period.” [Economic Policy Institute, 3/13/13]

  • Minimum Wage Increase Would Benefit African Americans. According to the Economic Policy Institute, “Increasing the minimum wage would substantially benefit both minority and non-minority workers. Nationally, 54.1percent of workers who would be affected are non-Hispanic white workers. Nearly a quarter (24.6 percent) are Hispanic,14.1 percent are black, and 7.1 percent are Asian or of another race or ethnicity.” [EPI, 3/05/13]

House Republicans Voted Against Minimum Wage Increase Last Year. In March 2013, House Republicans voted against a measure to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour over three years. Upon enactment, the measure would have increased the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.20 within three months. A year from this date, the federal minimum wage would increase from $8.20 to $9.15. A year from this date, the federal minimum wage would increase to $10.10.  [HR 803, Vote #74, 3/15/13]


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