Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) is upping the ante and calling for a minimum wage that exceeds the $15 per hour frequently demanded by her progressive colleagues, proposing instead a $20 minimum wage during a speech at a One Fair Wage event Sunday.
During an event for One Fair Wage – an organization that lobbies to raise the minimum wage for tipped employees – the Michigan lawmaker remarked that the federal minimum wage should actually be $18 or $20 dollars rather than the traditionally touted $15.
“By the way, when we started it, it should have been $15. Now I think it should be $20,” she told the crowd.
“It should be $20 an hour, $18 to $20 at this point,” she added, citing the increased costs of basic products like milk and eggs.
“But I can tell you, milk has gone up, milk has gone up, the cost of everything has gone up, the cost of food has gone up, the cost of a lot of things that we need has gone up already,” she continued.
A recent Congressional Budget Office report found that a $15 minimum wage would wipe out 1.3 million jobs and could cause up to 3.7 million workers to lose their jobs.
Tlaib is not the first progressive lawmaker to call for a federally-mandated minimum wage increase. Last week, the House passed the Raise the Wage Act, which would increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2025. The act is not expected to go much further, as Republicans, who largely reject the measure on grounds of economic instability, control the Senate.
“In another step in their socialist agenda, House Democrats pushed through a bill that will force up to 3.7 million Americans to lose their jobs and wreck our economy,” Job Creators Network President and CEO Alfredo Ortiz said in a press release Thursday.
There is no question that President Trump’s pro-growth policies are working, raising wages for all Americans, including those in entry-level positions. But instead of building on that progress, House Democrats want to appease the far-left and squeeze the 90 million Americans who work at or own a small business. According to JCN polling, 84 percent of Americans think it’s ‘likely’ that small businesses will have cut jobs if the minimum wage doubles.
Instead of pursuing a $15 minimum wage, Congress should be fighting for $50,000 careers by addressing the skills gap. JCN has launched the ‘Fight for 50’ campaign to fight for careers that pay $50,000 or more. We encourage everyone to visit Fightfor50.com to learn more and join our campaign. JCN will continue to advance this campaign as part of our larger effort to promote the benefits of capitalism.
“Squad” supporter Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who has long championed a $15 minimum wage, has faced scrutiny for failing to deliver on that front, with staffers complaining of his campaign paying “poverty wages.”
A letter, addressed to Sanders’ campaign manager Faiz Shakir, states that staffers “cannot be expected to build the largest grassroots organizing program in American history while making poverty wages.”
“Given our campaign’s commitment to fighting for a living wage of at least $15.00 an hour, we believe it is only fair that the campaign would carry through this commitment to its own field team,” the letter added.
Sanders plans to address the issue by limiting staffer hours.
Related: Rashida Tlaib blast Trump at NAACP convention in Detroit
Michigan’s congressional leaders sounded a call to action Monday, urging people attending the national NAACP convention in Detroit to stand up and fight the administration of President Donald Trump.
U.S. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, used the president’s own words to slam Trump’s Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who hails from Grand Rapids: “I really wish she wasn’t from Michigan, I think we should send her back.”
She said it’s no time to be complacent.
“Let’s be clear today, President Trump is a bully and we stand up to bullies,” she said. “This is a critical moment in our history. The leadership of NAACP is needed as we see the poison of racism. Donald Trump has given permission to people who used to stand in sheets in the middle of night to stand in the light in front of the microphones. This is wrong.”
U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, who has been the target of racist tweets from Trump, got a standing ovation from the crowd and said, “I’m not going nowhere, not until I impeach this president.”
She also said “The Squad” is not just the four progressive congresswomen — Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota — who have created a stir at the U.S. Capitol.
“It’s beyond just the four of us. You are all the squad, trust me,” she said.
Trump ignited a firestorm last week after he tweeted about the four women of color, saying they “originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world … Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
Three of the four congresswomen – Tlaib, Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley — were born in the United States and Omar is a refugee from Somalia and an American citizen.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-California, didn’t speak of the tweets or the president directly in addressing those attending the 110th annual NAACP convention. But she quoted both Thomas Payne and Martin Luther King Jr. as she said the turbulent times have found us.
“The times have found all of us to make the difference that our country is crying out for now,” she said. “This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off … Today, the times have found us to achieve a future full of justice, worthy of our founders.”
Pelosi has been plagued this month with a pair of problems. First, there has been a simmering tension between much of the Democratic caucus in the House and the Squad. Second, she’s had to fight back as President Donald Trump has been trying to paint the four congresswomen as the face of a new, socialist-leaning Democratic Party.
The four, and their supporters, have been highly critical of Pelosi for a vote on immigration aid that they opposed, and Pelosi has been dismissive of the strength of their coalition.
But Trump, and his racist tweets about the four women and attempts to paint them as the face of the Democratic Party, have actually worked to unite the warring factions of the party against Trump.
Pelosi spoke of the need for justice in many aspects of public policy, from the environment to criminal justice to civil rights.
Quoting Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her seat on a bus in Alabama, saying, ‘I’m tired of giving in,” Pelosi said, “We, too, must be tired of giving in. We, too, must continue to stand for fairness and genuine equality.”
But she left the more fiery rhetoric to Michigan’s Democratic congressional delegation and they delivered.
U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield, spoke of the importance of the 2020 election.
“If you can’t believe what’s happening and you’re tired of all the attacks and you feel like there’s a cloud over America, black people, we can change all of that,” she said. “Our mission: we cannot have a black person sit at home on election day because we know that we fight with our vote.”
The convention at Cobo Center continues through Wednesday when a presidential forum will be held, featuring Democratic candidates including former vice president Joe Biden, U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker; former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Republican candidate Bill Weld.