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Sen. Thune opposes $15 minimum wage hike

FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2021, file photo, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., speaks on Capitol Hill in...
FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2021, file photo, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. In an interview with The Associated Press, Sen. Thune, the chamber's No. 2 Republican, likened Trump's insults of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to "food fights within the family," saying they hurt the Republican party's goals. Thune also talked about his vote to acquit Trump of inciting the attack on the U.S. Capitol that left five people dead.(Tom Williams/Pool Photo via AP File)
Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 11:56 AM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - South Dakota Senator John Thune is voicing his opposition to raising the national minimum wage to $15 an hour on Wednesday.

The senator tweeted that he made $6 an hour working at a restaurant as a “kid.” His view falls in line with congressional Republican opposition to the Democrats’ proposal to raise the minimum wage federally. Republicans say a wage hike will harm small businesses that have already been economically harmed during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Republicans say a wage hike will harm small businesses that have already been economically harmed during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“I started working by bussing tables at the Star Family Restaurant for $1/hour & slowly moved up to cook – the big leagues for a kid like me– to earn $6/hour,” Thune wrote in a Wednesday evening tweet. “Businesses in small towns survive on narrow margins. Mandating a $15 minimum wage would put many of them out of business.”

On Monday, Republican Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Mitt Romney of Utah introduced a $10 national minimum wage plan. It is called the Higher Wages for American Workers Act. The GOP plan would gradually raise the federal minimum wage from its current rate of $7.25 an hour to $10 an hour by 2025.

The plan was criticized by Democratic legislators and others for being lower than the minimum wage in Cotton’s home state—$11 an hour.

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