The Obama Administration's objective to raise the minimum wage to $10.10, from its current $7.25, hit a major road bump Wednesday as Senate Republicans voted to block the bill. The measure needed 60 votes to pass, but received a vote of 54-42.
According to NBC News, the bill also featured increases dependent on inflation that would push a family of three above the poverty line. Senate Republicans, however, said the increase would hurt small business owners and predicted job cuts to make the higher wages work.
National Restaurant Association responds
Following the vote, the National Restaurant Association issued the following statement"
"The restaurant industry offers individuals of all ages, backgrounds and skill-levels flexibility, opportunity and real pathways to success. Eighty percent of all restaurant owners began their careers in entry level positions within the industry," said Scott DeFife, the NRA's EVP for Policy and Government Affairs. "Restaurants provide a first start to teens and young adults, relief to displaced workers, and an opportunity to create a lasting career.
"Dramatic increases to the minimum wage like the proposed legislation put forth by Senator Harkin would significantly hurt restaurant owners' ability to create jobs and limit the opportunities restaurants can provide to current and future employees.
"The CBO estimates a wage increase to $10.10 an hour could put half a million Americans – and potentially one million — out of work. Policy makers should focus on pro-growth policies and other necessary reforms — such as increased access to education and job training opportunities — in order to help restaurants continue to provide opportunity to millions of American workers."