Republican Senators Mitt Romney and Tom Cotton proposed a Bill, Higher Wages for American Workers Act, that would raise the federal minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2025. This raise comes with mandatory use of the E-Verify system which is designed to prevent employers from hiring undocumented workers.
Why $10, Not $15?
The Congressional Budget Office released a document called ‘The Budgetary Effects of the Raise the Wage Act of 2021’ which highlights what would happen if the federal minimum wage were raised to $15 by the ‘Raise the Wage Act’. According to the document employment would be reduced by 1.4 million workers, the number of people in poverty would be reduced by 0.9 million. Backers of the Higher Wages for American Workers Act say a $10 wage would cost no more than 100,000 jobs and would raise wages for approximately 3.5 million Americans. Both plans are to follow the same timeline and be completely implemented by 2025 if they are approved. What are the stipulations that go along with the Bill presented by Romney and Cotton?
E-Verify And $10 An Hour
The E-Verify system is designed to prevent employers from hiring undocumented workers. The Bill says that use of the E-Verify system will be mandatory. The senators said the Bill would provide benefits to Americans raising the pay floor and preserving jobs for documented workers “Our legislation would raise the floor for workers without costing jobs,” Mitt Romney said in a statement, “We must create opportunities for American workers and protect their jobs, while also eliminating one of the key drivers of illegal immigration.” Requiring employers to use “E-verify” ensures that businesses are hiring documented workers. The Bill would increase the penalties for anyone who hires an undocumented individual. According to USA Today, Tom Cotton says the current system is “unfair” to millions of workers who see businesses employ undocumented laborers for cheaper pay. “Ending the black market for illegal labor will open up jobs for Americans. Raising the minimum wage will allow Americans filling those jobs to better support their families,” he said. “Our bill does both.”
Who Benefits From A High Minimum Wage?
So far four states have mandated E-Verify be used for all new hires including Alabama, Arizona, Mississippi, and South Carolina. Many other states and the federal government require it for certain occupations. The states with the highest minimum wage are currently California, Washington, and Oregon with minimum wage and tipped wage being at least $12 an hour or more. Do you believe the minimum wage should be raised to $10 an hour or $15 an hour?