Union-backed Democratic Congressman Rejects $15/Hr Minimum Wage

The Intercept

LONGTIME INCUMBENT DEMOCRATIC Rep. Dan Lipinski and his primary rival, Marie Newman, revealed gaping ideological differences over key issues during an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board over the weekend.

The gap could prove pivotal in an Illinois district that went for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential primary by 8 points.

In major areas, Lipinski and Newman were far apart. Newman has the backing of both women’s groups and those fighting for LGBT rights, as well as national progressive groups that argue Lipinski is out of step with his district. Lipinski, backed by the state machine, has significant labor backing — which makes his rejection during the interview of one of labor’s key priorities noteworthy. Audio of the exchange was provided to The Intercept by the Newman campaign.

An editorial board member during the interview noted that Lipinski had not endorsed a $15 per hour minimum wage on his questionnaire and asked why. “We definitely have to raise the minimum wage,” Lipinski said. “If you look at the history of the minimum wage, the highest that it was in current dollars was in 1968, which would be the equivalent of about $11.60. I think we should move up to now — probably go to a $12 federal minimum wage and index it for inflation.”


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