Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) said Wednesday that congressional Republicans should support some kind of minimum wage hike.
His comments, on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” came a few hours before the Senate’s scheduled vote on a minimum wage increase.
Pawlenty said Republicans should support a “reasonable” minimum wage increase. He didn’t say whether that increase was to $10.10 per hour, which is what congressional Democrats support.
“Republicans should support reasonable increases to the minimum wage. If you’re going to talk the talk about being for the middle class and the working person, if we have the minimum wage, it should be reasonably adjusted from time to time,” Pawlenty said. “For all the Republicans who come on and talk about, ‘we’re for the blue-collar worker, we’re for the working person,’ there are some basic things that we should be for. One of them is reasonable increases from time to time in the minimum wage.”
In an email to Politico later on Wednesday Pawlenty said he opposed the minimum wage proposal supported by Senate Democrats, which raises the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
“…(W)hile I support reasonable increases in the minimum wage, the proposal being presented by the Senate majority goes too far and too fast,” Pawlenty said. “I wish they would work with Republicans to find a reasonable compromise on this issue.”
When Pawlenty was governor of Minnesota he vetoed a minimum wage increase bill in 2008 that would have raised the wage to $7.75 an hour. But in 2005 he signed into law a separate minimum wage increase bill that raised the minimum wage to $6.15 an hour.