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Local Congressmen Voice Concerns Over Federal Minimum Wage Hike

The Obama administration is trying to increase the minimum wage by around 39 percent from $7.25 to $10.10.
Two local Congressmen are weighing in on the proposal to raise the federal minimum wage. The Obama administration is trying to increase the minimum wage by around 39 percent from $7.25 to $10.10.

Tuesday, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office released a report suggesting such a move would cause a loss of around 500,000 jobs but boost earnings for around 16.5 million low wage workers.

Illinois Congressman John Shimkus says he's worried what affect such a large increase would have on young people.

"These are minimum wage jobs," said Shimkus. "They are entry level jobs, and I always worry about the high school kids. The impact here we're gonna be talking about what are things for kids to be doing over the Summer? You raise that minimum wage, you almost ensure kids have a more difficult time finding part time jobs during the Summer."

Shimkus says he also has concerns about how raising the minimum wage would affect small businesses.

Illinois' minimum wage is already above the federal minimum wage, and he says some business owners have told him they wouldn't be able to operate under another wage hike.

Indiana Congressman Larry Bucshon says the economics aren't as simple as they may seem.

"Every once in a while, the minimum wage needs to be slightly increased," said Bucshon, "but honestly I think going from what the current wage is to $10.10 is a dramatic 30 percent increase that we need to be really careful and look who it's going to affect and make sure it doesn't destroy jobs."

Bucshon says the idea of elevating people out of poverty is one everyone can get behind but says legislators must be cautious such a move doesn't cost American jobs during a time when unemployment is already high.
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