Politics

Romney, Cotton To Introduce Bill To Raise Minimum Wage, Ban Businesses From Hiring Illegal Immigrants

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Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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Republican Senators Tom Cotton and Mitt Romney will introduce a bill Tuesday which would raise the minimum wage and ban businesses from hiring illegal immigrants.

Cotton released the news in a series of tweets, saying the bill would gradually increase the minimum wage while making sure American citizens are not losing jobs to illegal immigrants. The bill would require employers to verify the legal status of all of their workers so that American citizens have job priority.

“Millions of Americans are struggling to make ends meet. I’m introducing a bill w/ (Sen. Romney) to give them a raise by increasing the minimum wage and ensuring businesses can’t hire illegal immigrants – protecting American workers,” Cotton said. “Today, Americans have to compete against millions of illegal immigrants who take illegally low wages under the table. We can fix this by requiring employers to verify the legal status of every worker so they can’t undercut Americans on the black market.”

“At the same time, Congress hasn’t raised the minimum wage in more than a decade, so the paychecks of our poorest workers buy less than they did in 2009. This is leaving many Americans behind. Our proposal gradually raises the minimum wage without costing jobs and then sets it to increase automatically with inflation. This minimum-wage increase will go into effect after the pandemic has ended and include protections for small businesses,” Cotton continued.

“We have an obligation to protect our workers and fellow citizens. This common-sense proposal will give millions of Americans the raise they deserve,” Cotton concluded.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) speaks at the confirmation hearing for President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State Antony Blinken before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill January 19, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty Images)

Cotton’s office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller when asked about the details on raising the minimum wage.

“Congress hasn’t raised the minimum wage in more than a decade, leaving many Americans behind. Our proposal gradually raises the minimum wage without costing jobs, setting it to increase automatically with inflation, and requires employers to verify the legal status of workers,” Romney said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that the COVID-relief bill the House will send to the Senate will have a $15 minimum wage included.

During a weekly press conference, Pelosi said the House plans to have their COVID-relief bill completed by the end of February and on President Joe Biden’s desk by March 14, when some unemployment benefits expire. Pelosi also confirmed that the House bill will include a $15 minimum wage.

“We hope to finish our markups in committee this week and then send it to the Budget Committee next week for them to work their will on it. Then to the Rules Committee and then to the floor. And we hope to have this all done by the end of February,” Pelosi said during her presser.

“Certainly on the President’s desk in time to offset the March 14th deadline where some unemployment benefits will expire,” she added.

study released in 2019 by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) suggested that the House Democrats’ proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour would most likely leave 1.3 million Americans jobless by 2025. (RELATED: Democrats’ Minimum Wage Increase Would Kill 1.4 Million Jobs, Congressional Budget Office Finds)

The study showed that prices would soar as businesses would have to force their higher labor costs onto consumers. (RELATED: Corporations That Support The $15 Minimum Wage Can Afford It. Here’s Who Can’t)

The minimum wage in the U.S. has been $7.25 per hour since 2009.