BURLINGTON, February 8 – Today, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following response to a Congressional Budget Office study on the budgetary impacts of the Raise the Wage Act, introduced by Sanders last month along with 37 Senate co-sponsors:
“Let’s be clear. We are never going to get 10 Republicans to increase the minimum wage through ‘regular order.’ The only way to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour now is to pass it with 51 votes through budget reconciliation.
“I find it hard to understand how the CBO concluded that raising the minimum wage would increase the deficit by $54 billion. Two years ago, CBO concluded that a $15 minimum wage would increase the deficit by less than $1 million over ten years. Further, several major studies done by the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics and the Economic Policy Institute both found that raising the minimum wage would amount to a significant reduction in the deficit.
“The good news, however, is that from a Byrd Rule perspective, the CBO has demonstrated that increasing the minimum wage would have a direct and substantial impact on the federal budget. What that means is that we can clearly raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour under the rules of reconciliation.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and the Senate to end the crisis of starvation wages in America and raise the minimum wage to a living wage of at least $15 an hour.”