Policy leaders and writers expressed support for U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Tom Cotton’s (R-AR) newly introduced Higher Wages for American Workers Act, legislation which would gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $10 and mandate E-Verify to ensure the wage increase only goes to legal workers. The bill will also index future minimum wage increases to inflation and includes protections for small businesses.
“Cotton and Romney have suggested a policy combination that the public will love, and that could stop American businesses from exploiting illegal labor.” – Robert Verbruggen, National Review
“$10 min wage + e-verify from Romney/Cotton is very well done. Right-of-center continues shift toward sensible, pro-worker focus on tight labor markets and rising wages.” – Oren Cass, American Compass
“The proposal links a gradual increase in the minimum wage with the mandatory use of E-Verify, the government database system that checks an employee’s ability to work legally in the United States…Combining the two ideas is a political masterstroke. Together, they show a commitment that all American jobs pay a decent wage while ensuring that the benefits go to legal workers…This is a healthy nationalist and populist proposal that can help the GOP become the multiracial working-class party many envision.” – Henry Olsen, Washington Post
“Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah is making a credible bid to be the most significant policy entrepreneur of the Biden era… Democrats could benefit from embracing the principle that immigration should operate through legal channels and not outside them…” – Noah Millman, The Week
“Mitt Romney and Tom Cotton have an intriguing idea. The two Republican senators want to raise the minimum wage, which progressives like, but pair it with stronger national enforcement of laws against hiring immigrants without legal work permits, which many conservatives support…[i]t potentially offers a roadmap to accomplish something Democrats seem unlikely to be able to achieve on their own: a substantial raise for low-wage workers.” – Matthew Yglesias, Bloomberg
“These policies in tandem would enhance the quality of life for millions of America’s low-wage workers, simultaneously raising their wages and protecting them from competition with illegal labor.” – Pedro Gonzalez, American Greatness