(From the Claire McCaskill campaign)
Today in Kansas City, Claire McCaskill thanked voters for their support throughout the campaign and made a final pitch to undecided voters by emphasizing the importance of protecting Missouri’s middle class by protecting a strong minimum wage. Claire is an ardent supporter of working families and raising the minimum wage, which serves as a stabilizing mechanism in tough economic times, while Todd Akin has repeatedly advocated to abolish the minimum wage and let employers use predatory practices to pay their employees unfair wages.
“America is the envy of the world because of the strength of our middle class,” said McCaskill. “As Missouri’s Senator, I fought every day to bring more people into the middle class and to protect those Missourians that are already a part of it. The minimum wage is a crucial part of the safety net protecting the middle class in tough economic times. If Todd Akin had his way, Missouri families would have a tougher time putting food on the table and keeping a roof overhead. Like a lot of issues, Todd Akin’s extreme position on the minimum wage is just wrong for Missouri.”
In the Senate, Claire stood on the side of Missouri’s working families and fighting to protect a strong minimum wage, while Akin has consistently opposed and denounced the minimum wage at both the federal and state level, despite the mainstream understanding from economists and analysts that such laws are critical for a healthy middle class and good for the economy.
As a state lawmaker, Akin voted against establishing a minimum wage in Missouri, and as U.S. congressman he opposed legislation to increase the federal minimum wage to its current level of $7.25 per hour. When asked during a 2012 Senate primary debate if he knew the federal minimum wage, Akin incorrectly guessed it to be around $6 or $7 before expressing his belief that it should be abolished altogether.
The event was part of Claire’s final “Get Out the Vote” push to turn out voters in every corner of the state before the November 6 election and remind them of the clear choice in this election between Claire, a Senator on their side who has a proven record of working across the aisle to fight for Missouri and Todd Akin, an extreme candidate who wants to privatize Social Security and Medicare, end federally backed student loans and abolish the minimum wage.
Akin Did Not Know the Federal Minimum Wage. According to the Associated Press, at a March 2012 GOP primary debate, Akin and none of his GOP opponents "could identify correctly the current federal minimum wage," currently set at $7.25. Akin "said he was guessing the minimum wage was around $6 or $7, called it another example of something wrong that the government is doing." [Associated Press, 3/16/12]
Akin Voted Against Raising the Minimum Wage to Its Current Level. Akin voted against HR 2. The bill increased the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour over the next two years. The bill also extended federal minimum wage requirements to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and set it at $3.55 an hour 60 days after enactment. The wage would rise in 50 cent increments every six months until it reaches the $7.25 per hour level. [Vote 18, 1/10/07]
1989: Akin Opposed Bill To Establish A State Minimum Wage. In October 2000, the St. Louis Post-Dispatchreported that, in 1989, Akin opposed "a bill to establish a state minimum wage. The bill passed, but the governor vetoed it." [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/3/00]
Nearly 110,000 Missouri Workers Make the Minimum Wage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 109,000 workers in Missouri were paid at or below the Federal minimum wage in 2011. [Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3/2/12]