New York's two U.S. senators are pushing for a hike in the minimum wage, which would bump the hourly amount to $9.80, from the current $7.25.
Would Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer have a partner in the congressman from the north country? They would not, if they elected Republican Matt Doheny.
Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, meanwhile, was still undecided.
Here's a statement from Mr. Doheny's campaign via email:
"When I heard about the Democrats' proposal to raise the minimum wage, I walked across the street to talk to a local shop owner. We sat and talked, and I asked her how raising the minimum wage to almost $10 per hour would affect her business. Her answer was clear: In order to remain profitable, she would have to reduce her employees' hours and pass some portion of the costs onto the consumer. It would also kill her dream of opening a second location nearby.
"The more business owners I talked to, the more I heard the same answer:
Less profit, less jobs, less hours and more costs passed to the average American.
"This proposal has no chance of passing in Congress and amounts to little more than election year pandering. As we teeter on another recession, we cannot afford to throw more people out of work. I would oppose this effort to raise the minimum wage to $9.80 per hour.”
Sens. Gillibrand and Schumer, both Democrats, are taking up the cause after a failure on the state level to bump the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50.
Update: Mr. Doheny hits Mr. Owens for not taking a position — it took a weekend for Mr. Doheny to decide, but two more days is totally not cool, apparently.
"The question is: Will he stand up for our job creators – or stand with the AFL-CIO and other labor interests who are pushing for this increase?” Mr. Doheny said in a news release.