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CBO: Democrats’ $17 Minimum Wage Bill to Cost 1.4 Million American Jobs

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released a statement following the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) announcement that Democrats’ Raise the Wage Act of 2023, legislation to increase the federal minimum wage to $17 an hour, would result in the elimination of up to 1.4 million American jobs over ten years.  

CBO estimates the bill increases the deficit over a ten-year period by $46 billion with over half of the cost, $27 billion, coming from increased costs to Medicare and Medicaid. The report also indicates that the legislation would lead to increased prices for goods and services, forcing American families to spend more money out of pocket at a time of high inflation under President Biden.

“A higher minimum wage does not mean much to a worker who loses their job because of it. We need to have a responsible conversation about the minimum wage, but Democrats’ approach would hurt small businesses and take away opportunities from hardworking Americans,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Republicans have a commonsense proposal that provides a measured approach to raising the minimum wage while also preserving American jobs.” 

Earlier this year, Cassidy and some of his Senate Republican colleagues introduced the Higher Wages for American Workers Act, legislation that would gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $11 and mandate E-Verify to ensure a legal workforce. The bill would also index future minimum wage increases to inflation.  


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