(WSAV) – The House passed a bill Thursday that would gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
It’s been ten years since Congress last increased the minimum wage to $7.50. The “Raise the Wage” act would bump that up to $15 by 2025.
Although the pay raise sounds like a good deal, some have said it could do more harm than good. A recent study said nearly 3.7 million Americans could lose their jobs if the bill becomes a law.
“I think it’s laughable for anybody in this House to say the government’s gonna raise your wages,” Georgia Representative Rick Allen said. “Government doesn’t raise wages. Government provides an environment for businesses to raise wages. That’s where the decision should be.”
Democratic Representative Joe Cunningham of South Carolina’s First District went against his party and voted “No” to the pay raise.
He released a statement saying “It is clear that the minimum wage is far too low in South Carolina. I believe we must raise the minimum wage to double digits. But a bill that would cause 3.7 million Americans to lose their jobs and eliminate the tipped wage – harming tipped employees and small businesses that make up the backbone of the Lowcountry’s service economy – is not something I can support.”
He also added that over the last 6 months, he has talked with tipped workers, restaurant managers and small business owners to learn how this legislation would affect them.
“There is a way to raise the minimum wage without raising prices and putting jobs in jeopardy,” Cunningham said.
The bill will now head over to the Senate, where it is not expected to pass.