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Minimum Wage Bill Would Cost $48 Billion Annually


In April, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an analysis of Rep. Bobby Scott’s $15 minimum wage “Raise the Wage Act,” which shows the Act would cost private businesses $48 billion a year and that state and local governments would have to pay an additional $3 billion to workers each year.

In March, the House Education and Labor Committee voted along party lines to pass the Democratic bill, H.R. 582, that would phase in over five years an increase to the hourly federal minimum wage to $15, up from the current $7.25, and would index future hikes to inflation. The Act would also eliminate existing lower minimums for tipped workers, workers with disabilities and workers under the age of 20.

The bill is expected to be passed by the Democratic-controlled House. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman Bobby Scott list raising the minimum wage as a top House priority for Democrats this Congress. President Trump endorsed a $10 hourly wage minimum near the end of his presidential campaign, but he has not shown interest since then, and it's doubtful that the Raise the Wage Act would be approved by the Republican Senate.

PMAA along with many Republicans and business advocates have concerns that a high wage hike could cause hardships for some employers and that market or state and local governments should set wages, not the federal government. Twenty-nine states and Washington, D.C. have minimum wages higher than the federal $7.25.

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