Pearce Votes to Protect Jobs, Small Businesses from Unfair Wage Legislation; Expand Access to Health Care Benefits
U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce today voted to protect jobs, benefits, and small businesses in Southern New Mexico by supporting a motion to refer the House majority's minimum wage
proposal through the normal House committee process so that appropriate relief for small businesses could be included, such as the option to offer health care benefits in lieu of an increased minimum wage.
The 2nd District lawmaker voted against final passage of the majority's underlying bill (H.R. 2) due to the absence of any such provisions which can help avoid massive job losses nationwide.
"Rebecca Dow is the Founder and Executive Director of Appletree Educational Center, a non-profit institution that serves low-income and at-risk children in Truth or Consequences. An e-mail we received from Ms. Dow indicated that the burdens H.R. 2 imposes could force her program to close. Her plight illustrates how this bill - in its current form - could devastate small businesses across Southern New Mexico.
"We have an obligation to help working Americans improve their lives. Doing so includes increasing the minimum wage, but not in a ham-handed manner that kills jobs. Once again, the majority's refusal to
utilize the normal process of committee consideration and floor amendment has prevented us from reaching a reasonable, bi-partisan compromise.
"I voted to increase the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour last summer, and I wish I could have done so again today. Yet, the majority's headlong rush to pass a bill - any bill - kept us from including the relief small businesses need to protect jobs and benefits, such as our motion to allow them to offer health coverage in lieu of the higher minimum wage.
"I hope the Senate will correct the fatal flaws in H.R. 2, so we can raise the minimum wage using the same common sense approach we worked so hard to achieve in 2006."