Tlaib Ups the Ante, Calls for $20 Minimum Wage

Rashida Tlaib
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) is upping the ante and calling for a minimum wage that exceeds the $15 per hour frequently demanded by her progressive colleagues, proposing instead a $20 minimum wage during a speech at a One Fair Wage event Sunday.

During an event for One Fair Wage – an organization that lobbies to raise the minimum wage for tipped employees – the Michigan lawmaker remarked that the federal minimum wage should actually be $18 or $20 dollars rather than the traditionally touted $15.

“By the way, when we started it, it should have been $15. Now I think it should be $20,” she told the crowd.

“It should be $20 an hour, $18 to $20 at this point,” she added, citing the increased costs of basic products like milk and eggs.

“But I can tell you, milk has gone up, milk has gone up, the cost of everything has gone up, the cost of food has gone up, the cost of a lot of things that we need has gone up already,” she continued.

A recent Congressional Budget Office report found that a $15 minimum wage would wipe out 1.3 million jobs and could cause up to 3.7 million workers to lose their jobs.

Tlaib is not the first progressive lawmaker to call for a federally-mandated minimum wage increase. Last week, the House passed the Raise the Wage Act, which would increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2025. The act is not expected to go much further, as Republicans, who largely reject the measure on grounds of economic instability, control the Senate.

“In another step in their socialist agenda, House Democrats pushed through a bill that will force up to 3.7 million Americans to lose their jobs and wreck our economy,” Job Creators Network President and CEO Alfredo Ortiz said in a press release Thursday.

He continued:

There is no question that President Trump’s pro-growth policies are working, raising wages for all Americans, including those in entry-level positions.  But instead of building on that progress, House Democrats want to appease the far-left and squeeze the 90 million Americans who work at or own a small business.  According to JCN polling, 84 percent of Americans think it’s ‘likely’ that small businesses will have cut jobs if the minimum wage doubles.

Instead of pursuing a $15 minimum wage, Congress should be fighting for $50,000 careers by addressing the skills gap. JCN has launched the ‘Fight for 50’ campaign to fight for careers that pay $50,000 or more. We encourage everyone to visit Fightfor50.com to learn more and join our campaign. JCN will continue to advance this campaign as part of our larger effort to promote the benefits of capitalism.

“Squad” supporter Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who has long championed a $15 minimum wage, has faced scrutiny for failing to deliver on that front, with staffers complaining of his campaign paying “poverty wages.”

A letter, addressed to Sanders’ campaign manager Faiz Shakir, states that staffers “cannot be expected to build the largest grassroots organizing program in American history while making poverty wages.”

“Given our campaign’s commitment to fighting for a living wage of at least $15.00 an hour, we believe it is only fair that the campaign would carry through this commitment to its own field team,” the letter added.

Sanders plans to address the issue by limiting staffer hours.

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