Mitt Romney last week announced that he separates himself from his GOP peers when it comes to the minimum wage, much to the chagrin of the Republican Party, who have now released their disagreement with the comments made by the former Presidential nominee on the subject of minimum wage. To the dismay of the Democratic party, Senate Republicans are heavily against the raising of the hourly minimum wage to $10.10. Recent polls of public opinion which reveal that the majority of the public is in favor of the minimum wage hike as well as Romney’s comments have not convinced the rest of the GOP.
Members of the Republican Party have let their disagreement with Romney on minimum wage be known publicly. Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina is against the notion of raising minimum wage, citing a CBO report that indicates a minimum wage hike would eliminate roughly 500,00 jobs. The Senate members of the Republican Party have also expressed that even if Romney won the presidency in 2016 and presented them with a bill to augment minimum wage, they would still be strongly opposed to it. Sen. Dan Coats expressed his disapproval, saying that all members of both parties want to put more Americans back to work and improve their wages, but upon considering the CBO figures, Romney is wrong to think that a minimum wage hike is the way to achieve that. Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska questioned whether or not the former presidential contender is aware of the CBO report, and stated that people who think raising the minimum wage is a great idea are not aware of the of the “horrific downside.”
Florida’s Marco Rubio echoed his resistance to the former Massachusetts governor’s opinions, illustrating that he and his peers must do a better job at conveying to working class voters that their agenda has their best interests in mind, and that it is better than what “the other side is offering.” Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas communicated his objections with Romney’s suggestion for GOP support for a wage increase, saying that such an adjustment would further the difficulty for minorities and young people to locate employment.
Not all members of the Republican Party disagree with Romney on minimum wage. Rick Santorum and Tim Pawlenty are supporting Romney despite the resistance from their party. They agree that by refusing to publicly advocate a minimum wage augmentation, the Republican Party is jeopardizing public support that might be transferred to Democrats who are strong advocates of the bill. Sen. Susan Collins has been trying to unite both parties in a minimum wage compromise, but did state that the diverse opinions in the GOP are “very encouraging.” Collins also contends that the debates from within the Republican Party will display that a good portion of Republicans are looking out for the lowest echelon of workers, and subsequently lead to more votes from that demographic in the coming election. None of this is encouraging Senate Republicans, who have already blocked one attempt to raise the minimum wage and have made it known that they will do so again even if future GOP presidential candidates are in favor of it.
By Andres Loubriel