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House Dems backing $15 min wage in Covid-19 relief bill accused of paying workers less

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Some House Democrats are still planning to fold into the COVID relief stimulus package a call for a $15 an hour minimum wage while a number of them have been accused of not paying their employees the proposed wage. Some might call that hypocritical.

President Biden has already included a provision in the $1.9 trillion economic recovery package that would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. He has indicated, however, that it may not be in the final version of the bill.

A faction of Democrats in the House still reportedly plan to include the proposal in their final version of the legislation before it is sent to the Senate regardless of whether it will survive or not. It will almost certainly be nixed in the Senate. Some of the backers of the provision include Reps. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), Susan Wild (D-PA), Chris Pappas (D-NH), and Sharice Davids (D-KS). Wild is on the House Education and Labor Committee whose portion of the bill would bump up the wage from $7.25 an hour to $15 in 2025.

According to the New York Post, job listings that go back as far as 2018 show that open employee positions for those four Democrats have been offered below the $15 an hour minimum wage they say they want. The open positions were found on a server for campaign job listings.

Video Credit: Fox Business

In March of 2018, Wild’s office made an offer to interested campaign fellows. The ad specified that the position “is an intense 8-week program designed for college students and recent college grads.” They were offered $500 a month and housing would be provided. They were also offered college credit as a payment option.

Malinowski listed an opening for a communications fellow in September of 2018. It was for a four-day-a-week fellowship that also required “staffing the candidate at events on workdays and potentially over the weekend.” The pay was again listed at $500 a month.

Davids in 2018 reached out looking for a paid campaign fellow as well. That listing offered $1,500 to $2,500 a month, dependent on experience level and the amount of time they were willing to commit.

All of this works out to as little as $9.38 an hour or as high as $15.63 an hour according to the New York Post, depending on qualifications.

Pappas is not only in Congress but owns the Puritan Backroom as well. It is a restaurant in Manchester, New Hampshire that is a go-to eatery for politicians during the New Hampshire primaries. Job listings for his restaurant offer $12.50 per hour. When asked about that Pappas claimed he paid “on average” over $15 per hour to those employed in his kitchen. He also justified the wages of waitstaff who earn between $25 and $35 per hour, “based on the tipped income that they earn.” He states that he provides paid leave and health insurance, along with other benefits for his employees.

Those are just four House Democrats. It would be interesting to know what others on both sides of the political aisle pay their staff in comparison to the proposed minimum wage.

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