Buttigieg Invokes Scripture to Argue for an Increased Minimum Wage

The mayor criticized Republican Christian senators who don't support raising the minimum wage

July 30, 2019

South Bend mayor and presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg invoked the bible to argue for increasing the minimum wage during Tuesday's CNN Democratic debate.

During the second half of the debate, CNN host Don Lemon asked Buttigieg what his campaign's plan is to retrain American workers who have been displaced by automation and globalization.

Buttigieg acknowledged manufacturing jobs would continue to go away in the future economy and suggested some of these workers would need to be retrained. He additionally proposed that gig workers be allowed to unionize before going into his critiques of the current minimum wage of the United States.

"So-called conservative Christian senators right now in the Senate are blocking a bill to raise the minimum wage," Buttigieg said. "When scripture says whoever oppresses the poor taunts their maker."

House Democrats voted in mid-July to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he has no intentions of bringing that bill up for a vote in the Senate.

"Research shows that hiking the minimum wage to $15 would kill jobs and depress the economy at a time when it’s thriving for the American people," McConnell tweeted after the Democrats passed the bill in the House. "We are not going to be taking that up in the Senate."

Buttigieg has suggested the Democratic Party needs to engage Christian voters more if they want to be successful in 2020.

"I think there’s an opportunity hopefully for religion to be not so much used as a cudgel but invoked as a way of calling us to a higher value," Buttigieg told the Washington Post earlier this year.