Johnson Comments on Minimum Wage Vote

Washington, D.C. – Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) made these remarks after voting against cloture on the motion to proceed to S.2223, a bill to raise the minimum wage:

“We all want Americans to earn higher wages, but the president's minimum wage proposal would have significant negative unintended consequences that cannot be ignored.

“The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the current proposal would eliminate as many as 1 million jobs, cutting off the first rung of the ladder of opportunity for working Americans. We need more jobs, not fewer jobs.

“Our nation has yet to fully recover from the massive job losses of the most recent recession, and our economy eked out a pathetic annual growth rate of only 0.1% in the first quarter.  It makes no sense to threaten the elimination of hundreds of thousands of jobs in such a fragile economy.

“In addition to lost jobs, as business costs rise, prices would increase for everyone – including those left jobless by the increase in minimum wage.

“Because of these seriously harmful effects, I could not support this ill-advised piece of legislation.

“The most effective way to boost incomes for hard-working Americans is to pursue policies that result in a robust economy where businesses compete for workers by offering higher wages.  Unfortunately, this administration and Senate Democrats have not proposed policies to make America an attractive place for business investment, expansion and job creation.  If and when they do, I will be fully supportive of those policies.”