WATCH: Costco CEO Shuts Down Lindsey Graham’s Minimum Wage Claims
One of Joe Biden’s early goals is to raise the minimum wage in the country to $15. The movement from $7.25 to $15.00 would occur over the course of 5 years.
Most Americans are on board with the measure. The idea has bi-partisan support. A study from Pew Research showed that around 2/3’s of Americans would back a move to $15.
The bill, though, has very little support from the Republicans who represent these people. Lindsey Graham attempted to argue against the raise on Thursday. This led to a contentious back and forth with Costco CEO Craig Jelenik.
Jelenik told lawmakers that Costco will be paying it’s workers at least $15 an hour. Graham weighed in, “I just want to let you know that my concern is not really about Costco,” Graham explained. “I’m worried about the small business owner who is struggling because COVID has reduced their capability to earn a living. Do you understand where I’m coming from?”
The Costco CEO just said at the Senate Budget hearing they'd be upping the minimum wage at Costco to $16/hr next week
"Effective next week, the starting wage will go to $16."
— Nicholas Wu (@nicholaswu12) February 25, 2021
After Jelenik said that he did, Graham continued, “So if you run a restaurant or hotel and nobody can travel in the country and seating capacity has been reduced by half or more, the revenues are down and can you understand why an increased mandate from the government in terms of cost would be a devastating blow?”
“No, I can’t understand why it would be a devastating blow,” the CEO replied. “I think it’s a devastating blow to the employees.”
Watch a clip of the back and forth below: