Hillary Clinton’s Camp Wasn’t Always All-In for a $15 Minimum Wage

Date: October 14, 2016

While Clinton has since favored that big of an increase, some in her camp felt it wasn’t the best option.

In the latest round of WikiLeaks releasing hacked emails, Hillary Clinton’s camp is seen questioning a federal $15 minimum wage, The Weekly Standard reported. 


Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress and close Clinton ally, wrote in an April 2015 email, “Substantively, we have not supported $15—you will get a fair number of liberal economists who will say it will lose jobs. Politically, we are not getting any pressure to join this from our end. I leave it to you guys to judge what that means for you. But I’m not sweating it.” 

In another hacked email, this one from March 2, Joel Benenson, the chief strategist for Clinton, encouraged more neutral wording ahead of a Clinton speech, the Washington Examiner reported. At the time, Clinton was in favor of a $12 minimum wage. 

“This reads like she’s for a $15 minimum wage, and I think we have to choose our language more carefully,” Benenson wrote. “Reporters will not cut us any slack on this.” 

Clinton has since said she would sign a bill raising the minimum wage to $15 if she became president. According to the Examiner, the embrace of a higher wage was at least in part a reaction to Bernie Sanders and his supporters. 

What a $15 Minimum Wage Looks Like 

Repercussions from a $15 minimum wage are already being felt. On April 4, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that would raise the state’s mandatory minimum to $15 an hour by 2022. A couple weeks later, a column in the Los Angeles Times reported how a Los Angeles-based clothing store, Joompy, will probably have to start importing its clothes. 

“I used to pay $5 to get this [dress] sewn, and now it costs $6.50,” Joompy owner Felix Seo told the Los Angeles Times. “But my customer doesn’t want to pay that, so I can’t sell it anymore. It will be impossible to make clothes in Los Angeles.” 

*Note: This news coverage does not equate to an endorsement of any candidate by NFIB.

Photo credit: Barbara Kinney for Hillary for America


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