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mitt romney speaks as tom cotton looks on
Then candidate Mitt Romney and Rep. Tom Cotton

Republican Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Mitt Romney of Utah announced Tuesday that they will introduce a bill to raise the federal minimum wage, a Democratic version of which reportedly is threatening passage of the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion so-called COVID-19 relief package.

Cotton wrote on Twitter in a series of posts near identical to Romney’s. “I’m introducing a bill w/@SenatorRomney to give them a raise by increasing the minimum wage and ensuring businesses can’t hire illegal immigrants – protecting American workers.”

In his own series of tweets on the proposed bill, Cotton said the increase would “go into effect after the pandemic has ended and include protections for small businesses.”

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The series of posts did not indicate to what amount Cotton and Romney’s bill would raise the federal minimum wage from its current $7.25 an hour, nor did it specify how, or if, it would penalize employers for hiring illegal immigrants. Proposals in the past to hold employers accountable have been opposed by organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce.

A report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office last week found that a $15 wage would bring almost 1 million people out of poverty in the next four years and boost cumulative pay by $509 billion for workers who get raises. But it would also raise the debt by $54 billion and cost 1.4 million jobs.

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