WASHINGTON – In spite of Senator Mitt Romney’s recent announcement that he will not seek re-election in 2024, he remains actively engaged in legislative work.
Romney, along with several of his Republican colleagues, has recently introduced a bill to increase the federal minimum wage to $11.
The bill, which was introduced by Romney (R-UT), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and JD Vance (R-OH), would gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $11, raising it from the current federal minimum wage of $7.25.
The introduced bill would also mandate the use of E-Verify, an employment eligibility verification system, for all employers. E-Verify is an electronic system administered by the Department of Homeland Security, and is used to verify employees are legally authorized to work in the U.S.
The bill would also index future minimum wage increases to inflation and includes a slower phase-in for small businesses.
All federal government executive departments, legislative branches, and several state governments currently use E-Verify, in addition to over a reported 1 million private employers.
The senators want E-Verify to be mandated to ensure that wage increases only apply to legal workers.
“Despite rising costs of living, the federal minimum wage has not been increased in more than a decade, which has left millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet,” Romney said. “Our proposal would raise wages for millions of workers without risking jobs, and tether the wage to inflation to ensure it keeps up with rising costs. Additionally, requiring employers to use E-Verify would ensure that the wage increase goes to legal workers, which would protect American jobs and eliminate a key driver of illegal immigration.”
The bill describes the gradual increase of the federal minimum wage as an initial increase to $8.00 per hour, and additional increases of hourly wages by $0.75 a year until the federal hourly minimum wage reaches $11.00.
The bill also defines small businesses as ‘a business with fewer than 20 employees (including a franchise 11 with fewer than 20 employees).’ Small businesses will have an initial increase of hourly wages to $7.75, followed by $0.50 increases every year until the federal hourly wage reaches $10.25.
“American workers today compete against millions of illegal immigrants for too few jobs with wages that are too low—that’s unfair,” Senator Cotton said. “Ending the black market for illegal labor will open up jobs for Americans. Raising the minimum wage will allow Americans filling those jobs to better support their families. Our bill does both.”