Wage Hike Paired With Small Business Package Makes Sense

I would like to commend the Senate for overwhelmingly approving a fair and balanced minimum wage increase that supports working families and small businesses. Final passage of this package is a clear victory for the middle class, and I urge the House of Representatives to follow the Senate’s lead.

Who is more middle class than America’s small businessmen and women? Passing the Senate’s bipartisan minimum wage and small business relief is good for low skilled workers and it is good for the middle class working families of America.

Some have made reference to the so-called ‘war on the middle class.’ Let’s get our facts straight: Mandating the minimum wage increase without proper relief to the working families who employ many of America’s workers would have been an assault on the middle class. Others like to talk about ‘two Americas.’ Our action today recognizes that there is one America. We are all in this together and we need not do great injury to one group of Americans just to aid another.

The Senate has taken strong action on behalf of minimum wage earners and middle class small business owners. I want to reiterate my hope that our colleagues in the House will not derail this bipartisan approach to offering real support and relief to the middle class. The minimum wage increase is in their hands.

I thank my colleagues for rejecting a partisan, overly simplified approach to the minimum wage bill, and instead accepting a bipartisan approach that will help relieve the burden that federal regulation, taxation, and mandates place on small businesses.

A Small Business Administration study issued in September estimated that small firms, those with 20 or fewer employees, face an annual regulatory compliance cost 45 percent higher than large firms. The average annual regulatory compliance cost for small firms was $7,647 – which happens to be roughly equivalent to the cost of employing a part-time minimum wage worker at the higher rate we are passing today. By including targeted tax and regulatory relief, we have ensured that small businesses, the lifeblood of the American economy, can continue to create new jobs and drive economic growth.