Republican Senators Tom Cotton (AR) and Mitt Romney (UT) have revealed a new proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2025.
The bill also provides for minimum wage to automatically increase every two years to match the rate of inflation, and requires that employers use e-verify to authorize their employees' identification, preventing illegal workers from taking jobs from legal citizens and residents.
"American workers today compete against millions of illegal immigrants for too few jobs with wages that are too low—that's unfair," said Sen. Cotton. "Ending the black market for illegal labor will open up jobs for Americans. Raising the minimum wage will allow Americans filling those jobs to better support their families. Our bill does both."
The move comes as Democrats plan to include a minimum wage hike to $15 as part of President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package that is currently before Congress.
The GOP senators' plan provides a special provision for small businesses with less than 20 employees, allowing them to delay the increase. It also increases civil and criminal punishment for employers that hire illegal workers.
The Congressional Budget Office said earlier this month that a $15 minimum wage would help 900,000 move above the poverty level, but would also cut 1.4 million jobs by 2025 as employers seek to reduce costs.