5 Politicians Who Would Abolish the Minimum Wage

These Republican Lawmakers See No Point in the Federal Law

Minimum Wage
While some members of Congress have called for the minimum wage to be abolished, workers called for the wage to be raised.

Andrew Lichtenstein / Getty Images Contributor

Attempts to abolish the minimum wage have found support from certain corners of Congress, mostly among Republicans. Conservative lawmakers claim the law is ineffective at lifting poor families out of poverty and in fact, is counterproductive: the higher the minimum wage, the fewer jobs there are in the workforce.

But over the years there have been no series attempts to abolish the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour. States are allowed to set their own minimum wages as long as they do not drop below the federal level.

Still, there are a handful of lawmakers who wouldn't hesitate to pull the plug on the minimum wage, based on their comments to the press. Here's a look at five current and former members of Congress who have either said, flat-out, they would support abolishing the minimum wage or that they have serious questions about the law.

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U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio

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U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who unsuccessfully ran for the party's presidential nomination in 2016, has said the following about minimum wage laws:

"I support people making more than $9. I want people to make as much as they can. I don't think a minimum wage law works. We all support - I certainly do - having more taxpayers, meaning more people who are employed. And I want people to make a lot more than $9 - $9 is not enough. The problem is you can't do that by mandating it in the minimum wage laws. Minimum wage laws have never worked in terms of having the middle class attain more prosperity."
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U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander

Lamar Alexander

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U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Republican from Tennessee and a one-time contender for the GOP presidential nomination, is an unabashed critic of the minimum wage law. "I do not believe in it," he has said, adding:

"If we are interested in social justice, and we want to honor work instead of getting a welfare check, then wouldn't a more efficient way to help people in poverty be to increase the earned-income tax credit rather than do what we always do here, which is come up with a big idea and send the bill to somebody else? What we're doing is coming up with the big idea and sending the bill to the employer.
"Why don't we just pay for the big ideas we come up with. And if we want to create a standard of living for people that's much higher than what they have today, then let's attach the dollars to the job and everybody pay for it. I don't want to do that. But if we were going to do it, then I think that's the way we should do it."
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U.S. Rep. Joe Barton

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton

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The Texas Republican has said the following about the federal minimum wage law:

“I think it’s outlived its usefulness. It may have been of some value back in the Great Depression. I would vote to repeal the minimum wage.”
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U.S. Sen. Rand Paul

Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has expresses concern about the minimum wage.

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The Republican from Kentucky, a favorite among libertarians and the son of former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, toes the line on the abolition of the minimum wage, saying:

“It's not a question of whether (the federal government) can or cannot (mandate a minimum wage). I think that's decided. I think the question you have to ask is whether or not when you set the minimum wage it may cause unemployment. The least skilled people in our society have more trouble getting work the higher you make the minimum wage."
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Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachman

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Former U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a Republican from Minnesota and Tea Party favorite who once held presidential aspirations, has said the following about the federal minimum wage law:

“I think we need to look at all regulations - whatever ones are inhibiting job growth.”

Bachmann, who had a penchant for sticking her foot in her mouth, previously claimed that the elimination of minimum wage laws “could potentially wipe out unemployment because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level."

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Murse, Tom. "5 Politicians Who Would Abolish the Minimum Wage." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, thoughtco.com/members-of-congress-abolish-minimum-wage-3367838. Murse, Tom. (2021, February 16). 5 Politicians Who Would Abolish the Minimum Wage. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/members-of-congress-abolish-minimum-wage-3367838 Murse, Tom. "5 Politicians Who Would Abolish the Minimum Wage." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/members-of-congress-abolish-minimum-wage-3367838 (accessed June 9, 2023).