Thursday, January 11, 2007

Murphy & the Minimum Wage

It's interesting that Congressman Tim Murphy (Republican, PA-18) yesterday supported the federal minimum wage increase of $2.10 an hour. Under the bill passed by the House, the minimum wage would increase in three steps to $7.25 an hour.

According to the New York Times in this graphic about the first 100 hours of the new Democrat-majority Congress, Murphy was one of 82 Republicans who voted yes. In fact, Murphy issued a press release touting his co-sponsorship of the bill and noted he didn't think it went far enough in also addressing health care.

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with his vote -- if government is going to mandate a minimum wage, it probably should keep up with inflation and other economic indicators.

But, I'm not certain this is a vote that's going to endear the Congressman to some of the corporate leaders who support him. There is an argument in the business community that minimum wage increases harm economic growth and have a net negative effect on jobs numbers.

Of course, Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District is only about 37 percent Republican. By voting for the minimum wage hike, Murphy has perhaps neutralized at least one potential attack issue for the Democrats in '08.

1 comment:

Sizzler Sue said...

Don't you think that the reason big business is opposed to the minimum wage is because it means they have to pay their employees more, meaning less corporate profit?

And what does it matter if Tim Murphy backs this bill- it will only result in a ten-cent increase, since the PA minimum wage is set to go to $7.15 in the near future.