Scores Of Republicans Supported Raising Minimum Wage In Bush Era
Think Progress reports that at least 67 Republicans who are still in Congress supported a raise in the minimum wage during the Bush administration.
Political momentum for an increase began in 2004, after President Bush announced his support for a bill by now-Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). After Democrats won majorities of the House and Senate in the 2006 elections, a minimum wage increase became one of their first priorities. The Fair Minimum Wage Act — which also included tax cuts for small businesses — passed the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support. When the increase was folded into a larger appropriations bill, it again passed with strong bipartisan support and was eventually signed into law by Bush. 26 House Republicans even signed a letter to then-House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), asking for a vote on a minimum wage increase, including current Representatives Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Peter King (R-NY), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Christopher Smith (R-NJ), and Fred Upton (R-MI). In incremental stages, the law raised the minimum wage from $5.15-per-hour to $7.25.
Though Ryan ultimately voted against the measure, he argued that he supported raising the hourly rate as long as it came with a suitable “offset” of small business relief.