“Republicans have talked a lot in recent years about becoming a “workers party,” without having much of an agenda to match the rhetoric. A new Senate proposal aims to start changing that.”
“Legislation would also mandate E-Verify to ensure rising wages go to legally authorized workers”
This Senate legislation is an encouraging development. CCSE has advocated both enforcing use of E-Verify by employers and raising the minimum wage. It’s good to see Republican senators proposing a bill that would advance workers’ economic interests. Here’s some of what we’ve written on these issues:
“To represent workers, Republicans will have to move beyond cultural hot buttons (guns, abortion, etc.) and deliver economic benefits, including wages that can cover the cost of living. That means working with Democrats to raise the federal minimum wage, stuck at $7.25 for more than a decade. It also means taking a hard look at child-tax credits and regressive tax breaks for health and retirement employee benefits that now transfer billions of dollars from the middle and bottom of the workforce to the top.
“Are core economic issues — and immigration reform, for that matter — Rubicons that the GOP is willing to cross?
“Democrats could decide to respond to Republican inroads among working-class voters by returning to their more egalitarian New Deal roots. If so, how might the GOP respond? More competition for their votes could do a lot to improve working people’s lives.”
Also, here’s a policy approach that could allow Congress to set a higher minimum wage while minimizing job-loss in low-income states:
“States could be given flexibility. Congress could set the national minimum at the high end of current proposals, say at $15 or $16, and allow states to adjust it downward by a certain margin, say 20% or 25%, but no lower. A national minimum wage corridor, rather than a line, could help California and New York build up and adjust down from a higher platform. Poorer states could choose lower levels in the corridor, say $12 to $13 an hour.”