Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s Opposition to a $15 Minimum Wage Shows Sensible Democrats Are Not Yet an Extinct Species

Press ReleaseFebruary 12, 2021

Washington – Today, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) bucked her party and put small businesses first by coming out in opposition to a $15 minimum wage in the forthcoming Covid-19 relief package. “The minimum wage provision is not appropriate for the reconciliation process,” Sen. Sinema told Politico today. “It is not a budget item. And it shouldn’t be in there.”

Alfredo Ortiz, president and CEO of the Job Creators Network, released the following statement:

“On behalf of the nation’s 30 million small businesses, I applaud Sen. Sinema’s rational opposition to a $15 minimum wage passed through budget reconciliation. While far-left radical colleagues like Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have become the face of the Democratic Party, Sen. Sinema demonstrates that sensible Democrats are not yet an extinct species. She and her Senate colleague Joe Manchin (D-WV) have signaled that they are willing to put small businesses before political fealty by opposing a $15 minimum wage.

“The economic facts are clear: A $15 minimum wage would be a job and small business killer at the worst possible time as the economy remains stuck in first gear. This week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that a $15 minimum wage would cost up to 2.7 million jobs nationwide. While minimum wage proponents claim the few-year implementation of the wage hike would dull its negative impact, they overlook that the first step on the ramp to $15 is a massive 31 percent increase on June 1st, 2021. This would mean that small businesses only have a couple of months to figure out how to absorb a nearly one-third increase in their entry-level labor costs. Proponents also point to the CBO’s finding that a $15 minimum wage would lift 900,000 people out of poverty. Yet strong economic growth under the Trump administration between 2017 and 2019 lifted 6.6 million people out of poverty. That’s more than seven times as many as the CBO’s $15 minimum wage projection, without threatening to destroy a large part of the small business economy.

“These compelling facts and Sinema’s opposition should put the final nail in the coffin of a $15 minimum wage — at least for now — allowing small business owners across the country to breathe a sigh of relief.”