Despite report, McConnell opponent argues that raising minimum wage would ‘create thousands of good-paying jobs’

Alex Pappas Political Reporter

The campaign of Mitch McConnell’s Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, is contesting the findings of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report that predicts raising the minimum wage could kill jobs.

The CBO said Tuesday that if the minimum wage was increased to $10.10, employment across the country could be reduced by 500,000 workers by 2016.

But in a Tuesday statement to the media about the CBO report, Grimes senior adviser Jonathan Hurst argued the opposite. Citing another study in Kentucky, he said that raising the minimum wage would actually create new jobs.

“As Kentuckians know, raising the minimum wage would create thousands of good-paying jobs in Kentucky and increase the spending power for tens of thousands of the Commonwealth’s hardworking families,” Hurst said.

The Grimes campaign cited the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy — a liberal think tank — which said last year that raising the minimum wage would create 2,200 jobs by 2015.

Asked about the campaign’s contesting of the CBO report, a Grimes aide told The Daily Caller they believe that the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy study is “more accurate” than the CBO’s report. That report said an increase would benefit more than 250,000 Kentucky women.

In the statement to the media Tuesday, Hurst referenced that study and used it to hit McConnell.

“The people of Kentucky are ready to vote out a Washington politician, worth over $25 million, who is asking them to believe that giving 255,000 women a raise will somehow hurt the economy,” he said.

Kelsey Cooper, a spokeswoman for the Republican Party of Kentucky, took aim at Grimes for “ignoring the unfortunate reality” of her stance on the minimum wage.

“Alison Lundergan Grimes and Barack Obama continue to make empty promises of more jobs, but as the CBO reported, their policies like the minimum wage hike and Obamacare actually lead to fewer jobs and reduce employment,” Cooper said. “Obviously, Grimes, Obama and the rest of their liberal Democrat allies would prefer ignoring the unfortunate reality that their policies have negative consequences for both Kentucky and our nation.”

Despite Grimes’ campaign contesting the CBO report, liberals have reasons to champion it: it says an increase would move about 900,000 people out of poverty and 16.5 million workers would earn more if the $10.10 option was implemented.

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