Obama Commerce chief hasn’t found one executive who opposes wage hike

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker says she has spoken with hundreds of business executives and found not one who opposes the Obama administration’s plan to raise the minimum wage.

“I’ve talked to 1,300 business leaders since I’ve been in this job,” she said Wednesday at the Washington Ideas Forum. “No one has said to me that they object to the minimum wage proposal.”

{mosads}In fact, she said, many have said that “the problem they’re facing is we have different policies state by state, and they would rather see a uniform policy” across the nation.

President Obama has pushed Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour from the current $7.25, and Democrats have made that proposal a major plank of their midterm election message.

Though the policy seems to have stalled in Congress, measures are on the ballot in a number of sates, which could help boost Democratic turnout and hike the minimum wage in those states.

Opponents of raising the wage have said that it could be a burden on small businesses and lead to job losses.

While Pritzker claims business leaders support a higher minimum wage, many millionaires do not.

A poll released on Tuesday found that 49 percent of Americans with $1 million or more in assets supported raising the federal minimum wage. Thirty percent outright opposed the idea.

Thirteen states and the District of Columbia have raised the minimum wage beyond the federal level. The Obama administration has pointed to those states as positive examples that lead to higher growth and said that they should set the stage for the nation to act.

This year, the administration moved forward with a plan to increase pay for federal contractors. Under a proposal currently being circulated, contractors would need to pay their workers at least $10.10 an hour.

Tags Minimum wage Penny Pritzker

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