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Reps. Tom Cole, Kendra Horn voice opposition against House bill to increase minimum wage

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Kendra Horn (copy)

Congresswoman Kendra Horn of Oklahoma's fifth district delivers a speech after swearing her oath of service Jan. 12.

Two Oklahoma representatives released statements after the passage of House Resolution 582, which would more than double the federal minimum wage.

According to the resolution, HR 582 would increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 over the course of five years. If it were to become law, HR 582 would increase the minimum wage by $1.30 each year.

Reps. Tom Cole, R-Okla., and Kendra Horn, D-Okla., voted against the resolution. 

“While I don’t doubt this bill is well-intentioned, it is unprecedented and misguided for a country as large and diverse as the United States,” Cole said in his statement. “Never in our history, or indeed in the industrialized world, has the minimum wage been increased so drastically in such a short amount of time.”

The resolution would have “dramatic and unintended consequences,” Cole said in the statement, including the loss of “nearly 38,000” jobs in Oklahoma.

“With unemployment lower than it’s been in nearly 50 years and wages already increasing at the fastest rate in a decade, this misguided piece of legislation would undo it all,” Cole said in the statement.

A more careful approach is necessary to raise the minimum wage successfully, Horn said in her statement.

“The bill before the House today used a sledgehammer, not a scalpel,” Horn said in the statement. “By taking a one-size-fits-all approach, this legislation ignores the differences in regions, the cost of living and the cost of doing business. It doesn’t consider that Shawnee is different from San Francisco and Oklahoma City is different from New York City.”

In the statement, Horn said she does support another piece of legislation that seeks to increase the minimum wage, called the PHASE Act, which will increase the wage “incrementally and regionally.”

“We need to have everyone at the table in this conversation — businesses of all sizes, workers, families and community leaders,” Horn said in the statement. “This is a tough issue to balance, and we need everyone to have a voice in it.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted that the Senate would not be taking up the bill.

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