GOP candidate Karen Handel, who is racing against Democrat Jon Ossoff for a U.S. House seat in Georgia, said in a recent debate that she does not back a “livable wage” statewide.
The shocking remark came in response to a viewer’s question about hiking the minimum wage, a contentious issue that has been dividing lawmakers for decades.
This is an example of the fundamental difference between a liberal and a conservative: I do not support a livable wage,
Handel said on Tuesday night.
She added that she is all in for a “robust” economy that has less regulation and lower taxes. The Republican candidate said that boosting the minimum wage could have a negative impact on small entrepreneurs and the economy as a whole.
By contrast, Ossoff thinks the minimum wage should be raised to a “livable” level. The Democrat believes that everyone who has a full-time job should have a “decent” standard of living without having to juggle multiple jobs.
Ossoff also suggested small businesses would be less impacted if the raising of the minimum wage was made gradually.
The controversial remarks come at a time when the country is divided over whether the minimum wage should be hiked or remain unchanged. In Illinois, for instance, lawmakers pushing for a plan to hike the wage to $15 per hour. Several days ago, Illinois lawmakers passed a bill to up the state minimum wage from $8.2 to $15 per hour in five years’ time.
The bill needs only Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s signature to become law, but it is not unclear if he’ll green-light the bill. The reason is that the bill is facing a lot of criticism.
Earlier this month, the Governor told reporters that the Democratic bill would “crush” job creation and small businesses statewide. At the time Rauner said that he couldn’t back the measure as it was no “reasonable compromise” for the business community.
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