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
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.