02.02.07

ENZI SAYS MINIMUM WAGE PACKAGE IS KEY TO MAINTAINING ECONOMIC GROWTH

Washington, D.C. –Noting that the American economy created 111,000 new jobsin January, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today said that the American economy is continuing to “grow and create new, better-paying jobs.” He urged the House of Representatives to follow the Senate’s lead and pass a minimum wage bill that will relieve much the tax and regulatory burden on small businesses, and allow them to remain the driving force behind economic growth. “We must be careful not to disrupt economic growth with a hike in the minimum wage that is not coupled with relief for the small businesses that must pay those higher wages,” Enzi said. “The Senate has delivered a true victory for minimum wage earners and middle class small business owners alike by overwhelmingly approving a fair and balanced minimum wage package. The House must now follow suit, and recognize that increasing the minimum wage without helping small businesses is not only unwise, it is not an option.”“We have rejected the misguided notion that the minimum wage bill be a ‘clean bill,’ because ultimately it is not a ‘clean’ issue. While pretending that economics or social issues are simple makes for great rhetoric and great politics, it seldom makes for responsible policy. Around here, ‘clean’ more often than not, simply means ‘do it my way’ and does not respect the democratic process of the Senate and allowing the Senate to work its will.” Enzi noted that under Republican leadership, the U.S. economy has created more than 7.4 million new jobs since August 2003 – more than every other industrialized nation combined. January marked the 41st consecutive month of job creation. Real wages grew by 1.7 percent in 2006, an increase of $1,030 for the typical family of four. “By continuing to ease the burden on America’s working families and small businesses, we will further spur economic growth and lower the deficit.” ### #

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