Washington, DC (July 29, 2014) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), representing roughly 10,000 small business owners in Iowa, today called on Congressman Bruce Braley to clarify his position on raising the minimum wage, which is the focus of his latest US Senate campaign ad.
“The President and the big labor unions want to increase the cost of hourly labor by 40 percent. We’d like Congressman Braley to explain his theory on how Iowa small businesses and family farms can absorb such an increase without having to make difficult cuts elsewhere,” said NFIB Vice President Lisa Goeas.
Braley, once thought to be a shoe-in to succeed retiring Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, is now locked in a dead heat with State Senator Joni Ernst. At a small business candidate forum sponsored by NFIB earlier this year, Ernst said she would oppose a federal bill to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour. Braley is now attacking her for that position.
“If the Congressman believes that small businesses can handle a 40 percent increase in labor costs, then he needs to explain how that’s possible,” said Goeas. “Our members in Iowa are very interested and we imagine that so are most other voters.”
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) this year projected that the $10.10 plan would destroy upwards of 500,000 jobs. Other studies, many from prominent universities, have produced similar findings.
“So how many jobs does the Congressman believe Iowa can afford to lose,” asked Goeas. “It’s not a rhetorical question and the voters deserve an answer that goes deeper than his political commercials.
“Iowa small businesses can’t waive a wand and increase their sales by 40 percent. They can’t reduce their other expenses. So how is it possible, as a matter of common sense, to raise their labor costs by 40 percent without forcing them to make other cuts in payroll,” she continued.
To learn more about NFIB, please visit www.nfib.com.