The National Minimum Wage has been $7.25 an hour since July 24, 2009.
Ove the next ten years (2009 to 2019,) 30 of the states in this country have secured higher minimum wages than the national standard. Of those 30 states, 16 have laws that provide for incremental increases in their state minimum wage over the next several years. Six of those 16 will raise their minimum wage to $15.00 an hour.
Interestingly, the great majority of the states that have not increased their minimum wage are Republican-leaning ones.
Despite the efforts of conservative favoring organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, Arizona voters passed Proposition 206 in 2016 which allowed for the gradual increase of the state minimum wage to $12.00 in 2020.
A recent study by the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity showed that the minimum wage increase, contrary to conservative “urban myths” regarding the minimum wage, has not adversely impacted job creation in Arizona. Phoenix, in April, voted to give City employees a raise to $15.00 an hour.
Despite the recent success with the Minimum Wage increase in Arizona, the four Republican Congressional members of the Arizona Delegation (Debbie Leko, Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, and David Schweikert) voted against gradually raising the National Minimum Wage to $15.00 by 2025.
This act, depending on which study (either the Economic Policy Institute or Congressional Budget Office) one wants to subscribe to, would give a pay raise to between 27 and 33 million Americans and “lift 1.3 million people out of poverty.”
The Congressional Budget Office Study indicates that short term employment, depending on a variety of factors including the type of job and geography, could either increase or decrease.
Despite these positive forecasts, the Four Arizona Republicans, along with the rest of the Republican conference, voted against raising the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour by 2025.
What is worse is that the Senate Majority Leader (also known as the Obstructionist in Chief, Enemy of the People, and the Grim Reaper) Mitch McConnell has already publicly stated that the Senate will not consider the House bill, citing the debunked reactionary claim that a higher minimum wage causes job losses.
Arizona 2020 Democratic Congressional Democratic Candidates were quick to denounce their prospective Republican opponents vote against raising the Minimum Wage.
2020 Congressional District Five Democratic Candidate Joan Greene stated that:
“It is no surprise my opponent (Andy Biggs) voted against hard-working Americans to earn a livable income when he rejected the $15 minimum wage bill. His voting history tells the story of a person who is not a friend to the working family.
My opponent wants to slash safety net programs and yet he votes against our American families to succeed. A $15 minimum wage would reduce the amount of people who rely on the safety net programs while lifting 1.3 million workers out of poverty, hence we would save money. With his vote against our families, he has shown us that he is not a fiscal conservative but a career politician who continues to look out for himself and his special interest groups.
Congressional District 5 does not need or want my opponent, who won $10 million in a sweepstakes contest, who is so out of touch with the everyday struggles of his constituents that he votes against them.
This is why I will continue to be the interim Congresswoman for Congressional District 5, as I work on solving the kitchen table problems that keep our families up at night.”
2020 Congressional District Six Democratic Candidate Anita Malik wrote on the day of the vote that:
“Moments ago the House voted to raise the federal minimum wage.
Congressman Schweikert voted NO on giving nearly 94,000 workers in our community a livable wage.
He is ok with $80 million in lost wages by 2024 in our district … dollars that would further fuel our local economy.”
2020 Congressional District Eight Democratic Candidate Michael Muscato conveyed that:
“By definition “minimum wage” is the minimum amount of money a worker can be paid for their services. Yet the current minimum wage leaves workers at $10,000 less annually than the poverty line. As a small business owner, I know the value of good employees. How is it that my small business can afford to pay staff at three times the national wage as well as pay for their furthering education and yet corporations who take in billions in record profits year after year and receive tax cuts year after year, cannot afford to pay their employees enough to cover their own healthcare nor fill their gas tank to get to work? $7.25 is nothing less than slave labor wages.
I’m not at all surprised Debbie Lesko voted against this bill. As our congresswoman, she has yet to show any understanding of how the economy works. A raise to minimum wage means fewer people will be in poverty, fewer people will need to rely on government assistance programs, and our country will generate more tax revenue to pay for things like education, border security, healthcare, infrastructure…
Critics like Debbie Lesko claim it will lead to higher unemployment and hurt small businesses like mine. The same person who claimed cutting taxes and to put more money in corporation’s pockets would lead to higher wages (hello stock buybacks!) now says that American citizens with more money in their pockets will hurt the economy? Americans with more money in their pockets mean more products will be bought.
What Debbie Lesko won’t say publicly is the reason she voted NO to a rise in the minimum wage is because doing so would negatively affect the tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions she receives from corporate PACs. Plain and simple, our congresswoman works for the corporations, not the American people. Don’t take it from me, it’s public record. Look it up at fec.gov. This last reporting period alone she received nearly 80k from the likes of corporations such as Koch Bros and the CEO of APS.
We all do better when we all do better. Our hometown and the American worker are always worth fighting for.”
People in this country can not live on $7.25 an hour. A case can be made that they can not live on $12.00 or even $15.00 an hour.
Remember the bill in question is a minimum wage, not a living wage bill. A minimum wage does not necessarily equal being able to live comfortably.
Americans, including Arizonans, should ask this question when considering who to vote for in 2020 and beyond.
Which candidate will make it possible for the people to not have to worry about living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to make ends meet?
The candidate that does not care about a person receiving a paycheck with an adequate wage from a fulltime job that does not enable that person to live without worry should not receive the support of the voters.