Mixed reviews on the State of the Union address from Wisconsin’s U.S. Senators. President Barack Obama vowed to work around Congress to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers. Republican Senator Ron Johnson arguing that will do little for workers or the economy.
“You’ll actually eliminate those entry-level positions that Americans need to start on that ladder of economic opportunity,” Johnson said. “I know it sounds good, I just think it would be economically harmful and quite honestly it wouldn’t effect that many Americans anyway.”
Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin said that’s true – but that the president is calling on Congress to act, too. “His executive order will probably impact a couple hundred thousand workers in America. But if Congress acts and raises the federal minimum wage, it will affect millions across our country,” she said.
“The way to address a livable wage is through the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is one of the things he talked about,” said Johnson. “And one of the things we can do there is minimize if not eliminate the 21 percent improper payments, the fraud that is being paid out right now. It’s about 11 billion dollars per year.”
Johnson was critical of the President on Obamacare. “His health care law has harmed millions of Americans, as people have been dropped from the coverage they liked, they’re losing access to the doctors and treatments that kept them alive,” he said.
Baldwin conceded there have been frustrations surrounding Obamacare. “He did spend some time setting the record straight on what the Affordable Health Care Act is about, and the difference it’s made in those lives where people have recently enrolled,” she said.