Campaign 2010

Feb 14, 2013

No Love for Middle Class Families: Congressman Bill Young on Minimum Wage

Speaker John Boehner has already said that his Tea Party House Republicans won’t support President Obama’s call to increase the minimum wage – and long, long, longtime Congressman Bill Young is no exception. During his long years in Washington, Congressman Young has already voted at least seven times against raising the minimum wage for middle class families – even though he voted 12 times to spend tax dollars on pay raises for himself.

 

Even worse, Congressman Young has grown downright hostile to the concerns of middle class families over his prolonged time in Washington. Last year, a low income worker asked Congressman Young if he would support raising the minimum wage to $10 per hour and he snapped back with his now infamous retort, telling the Tampa area man (who was employed) to “get a job.” In fact, Congressman Bill Young has even been known to attempt to strike constituents who approached him with his cane.

 

“Congressman Bill Young has been in D.C. so long that he’s become part of the problem in Washington – and just like Speaker Boehner and the Tea Party Congress, Congressman Young is downright hostile to any effort that would help Tampa and Pinellas residents squeezed by rising prices and stagnant wages,” said David Bergstein of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Congressman Bill Young has voted at least seven times against raising the minimum wage for middle class families, but voted to spend tax dollars to raise his own pay 12 times. Congressman Young epitomizes the broken politics of Congress which voters despise.”

 

BACKGROUND:

 

Asked by a Low-Wage Worker if He Would Support Raising the Minimum Wage to $10 an Hour, Congressman Young Responded with “Get a Job!“Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-FL) of Indian Shores had some choice words for a constituent who asked the lawmaker Wednesday if he supported raising the minimum wage, repeatedly telling the young man to 'get a job.' After a constituent approached Young during a 4th of July event and asked him if he would support a bill currently circulating in the House to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour, Young answered that he probably would not.  Instead of walking away, however, Young turned to the constituent and asked, 'How about getting a job' When the constituent informed Young that he did, in fact, have a job– one that pays him $8.50 an hour–  the Republican looked puzzled. 'Then why do you want that benefit?' Young asked, before again instructing the man to 'get a job.'" [FLDemocracy2012, 7/5/12]

 

Asked by Activists About Raising Taxes on Top Earners, Congressman Young “Raised his Cane, Largely Looking Like He was Attempting to Strike.” “ Local constituents and representatives of Bay area liberal groups and unions gathered Monday in the office of Representative Bill Young in Seminole to argue against increased tax cuts for the top two percent […] One particularly persistent activist went on to loudly ask Young on his stances while getting into close proximity of the 81-year old congressman. It did not end well. Young grabbed the activist by the arm and raised his cane, largely looking like he was attempting to strike the protester until both were separated by the police officers present.” [Creative Loafing Tampa, 12/11/12]

 

Congressman Young Voted to Raise His Own Pay at Least Twelve Times. Between 1982 and 2007 Young voted twelve times either to raise his own pay or against efforts to block the annual cost-of-living increases that Members of Congress receive. [H Res 517, Vote #580, 6/27/07; H Res 865, Vote #261, 6/13/06; H Res 342, Vote #327, 6/28/05; H Res 770, Vote #451, 9/14/04; H Res 351, Vote #463, 9/04/03; H Res 488, Vote #322, 7/18/02; H Res 560, Vote #419, 7/20/00; H Res 246, Vote #300, 7/15/99; HR 2378, Vote #435, 9/24/97; HJRes 129, Vote #6, 2/07/89; HR 3660, Vote #358, 11/16/89; HJRes 631, Vote #420, 12/14/82]

 

  • Congressman Young has Accepted $131,500 in Pay Raises for Himself.  When Young took office in 1971, he earned $42,500 as a Congressional salary. As of 2013, Young earns a Congressional salary of $174,000- an increase of $131,500. [Congressional Research Service, Congressional Salaries Report, 2/22/13; Washington Post, 6/28/07]

 

Congressman Young Repeatedly Voted Against Raising the Minimum Wage. In 2006, Young voted four times to kill Democratic efforts to raise the federal minimum wage to $7.25. In 2007, Young voted three times against raising the federal minimum wage to $7.25. [HR 2389, Vote #328, 7/19/06; HR2990, Vote#364, 7/12/06; HR4411, Vote #360, 7/11/06; HR5672, Vote #319, 6/27/06; HR 2206, Vote #333, 5/10/07; HR 1591, Vote #276, 5/02/07; HR 1591, Vote #186, 3/23/07]

 

Median Household Income in Congressman Young’s District is Under $46 Thousand.  As of 2011, the average household income in Pinellas County is $45,891. [Census Quick Facts, accessed 2/14/13]