Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) criticized House Democrats on Monday for passing “ill-conceived” legislation that would double the federally mandated minimum wage to $15 per hour.
“It’s shallow thinking, it’s ill-conceived policy,” Crenshaw said during an appearance on “Fox & Friends.” “It feels good, it’s emotionally driven, but it doesn’t actually do any good and they’re not actually thinking of the second- and third-order consequences of a $15 minimum wage.”
The Raise The Wage Act was approved in the House on Thursday by a vote of 231-199, largely along party lines. If enacted, the required minimum wage would increase for the first time in more than a decade, up from its current rate of $7.25 per hour.
“This has been debunked over and over and over again by economists. It’s bad for economics and it’s also bad because it’s a one-size-fits-all policy from the federal level,” Crenshaw said. “Economically speaking, it causes job loss.”
The Texas congressman referenced a report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that was published earlier in July. The report estimated that up to 3.7 million Americans would lose their jobs if the minimum wage hit $15 per hour by 2025.
“When a business is faced with a new minimum wage, their entire budget for salaries and payroll, it doesn’t change so they have to make changes themselves — they might have to cut hours and they might have to fire people,” Crenshaw said. “While some people get a small incremental increase, others get a 100% decrease in their wage because that’s what happens when you fire them.”
He also noted that one’s cost of living is vastly different depending on where that individual resides, and questioned the rationale for instituting a blanket rate for the entire country.
“In San Francisco rent is about $4,500 per month. In Lubbock, Texas, it’s about $700 per month. You don’t have the same minimum wage in both places,” he continued. “You need to allow municipalities and counties to make that decision for themselves.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has been a longstanding advocate for a $15 minimum wage. He has made establishing a federally mandated living wage a keystone in his presidential campaign and applauded the House’s passage of The Raise The Wage Act.
However, Sanders’s presidential campaign revealed on Friday that it would be cutting the hours of field staffers to stay above the $15 per hour threshold. Field staffers receive a flat salary of $36,000 annually, which equates to $17 per hour based on a 40-hour workweek. But many staffers were actually working up to 60 hours each week, resulting in an hourly salary of roughly $13 per hour.
“You’ve got to laugh at this a little bit, I mean, when this poetic justice, this ill-conceived policy gets manifested right before your very eyes,” Crenshaw said. “I wonder who could have predicted this. Well, anybody with an economics degree would have predicted this.”
“It’s really, really bad policy overall,” Crenshaw added.