NNA does not take official stand on the appropriate level of minimum wage increases
Congress is considering an increase in the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour. The legislated minimum was last increased in 2009.
HR 603 introduced by Rep. Bobby Scott, D-VA, is pending in the House.
The proposal may become part of the American Rescue Plan, the proposal from the Biden administration to increase stimulus spending by approximately $1.9 trillion. The plan is expected to be handled as a budget reconciliation matter, requiring only a majority vote in both houses of Congress. The minimum wage measure may be included in the House version of the plan, but it could be removed from the Senate consideration for procedural reasons. If that happens, the House and Senate are expected to continue to advance the proposal in other legislation. In addition to increasing the minimum wage for working adults, the proposal would eliminate a lower minimum wage for teenagers and individuals who work in jobs that earn tips, like restaurant workers.
The increase would rise as follows:
The Congressional Budget Office has said the proposal would lift approximately 1 million people out of poverty but could cost the nation potentially 1.4 million jobs and increase the costs of goods and services. The job loss would be felt primarily by younger workers. CBO also said the provision would cost the federal government $60.1 billion but bring in new revenues of $14.7 billion over the 2021-2030 period.)
National Newspaper Association position
NNA has joined other small business groups in calling for this proposal to be defeated. While NNA does not take a position on the appropriate level of minimum wage increases, it is prepared to entertain support for proposals that effectuate a more moderated increase. Some NNA members do business in states that already have a $15 minimum wage. This increase has required publishers to eliminate some jobs. For other newspapers, a too-rapid acceleration cannot be absorbed when small businesses are struggling to recover from the pandemic shutdowns.
NNA has encouraged its members to express their concerns for or against the Scott proposal.