Rep. Mark Green, who represents Williamson County as part of Tennessee's 7th Congressional District, appeared on Fox Businesses over the weekend where he slammed President-elect Joe Biden's stimulus plan as a packaged 'designed' to create "more government dependency."
Green was also highly critical of the proposal to more than double the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour, alleging that doing so would incentivize employers to rely on automation and "put people out of work."
Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus plan
Unveiled last week, Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus plan proposes a number of economic relief programs.
Under the proposal, $1,400 checks would be sent to all eligible Americans, unemployment insurance would see an additional $400 a week supplement through September, the federal minimum wage would be lifted to $15 an hour, and $350 billion would be allocated for emergency funding for state and local governments.
"What the Democrats want is dependency on government"
Calling the stimulus plan a "grotesque payback," Green was mostly critical of the increased federal minimum wage included in the proposal.
"They're talking about doubling the minimum wage — that is going to crush small businesses that are struggling right now, Green said.
"It started with Obama, they design their packages to basically concentrate power in Washington. Obamacare drives to a single-payer system, this Biden stimulus is going to push people through automation, out of work and on the government, creating more government dependency — it's obvious in its design."
Speaking with Fox Business contributor Charles Payne, an Air Force veteran who began his career on Wall Street working as an analyst for the stock brokerage firm EF Hutton, Payne asked Green how Republicans could push against the stimulus package without appearing "heartless and uncaring."
"We want people who are unemployed to find a job, we want people to have an opportunity to actually go from one place in life to another," Green answered.
"I grew up on a dirt road in Mississippi, and with opportunity, I created something special for my family - that's what we want for all Americans. What the Democrats want to do is addict people to government, they want dependency on government."
Payne said that he agreed with Green's comments "1000%," but asked specifically how Republicans could counter arguments from proponents of increasing the federal minimum wage.
"Doubling the minimum wage will force automation — right here in Clarksville, Tennessee where I live, the McDonald's doesn't use automated tellers, they use people who have a job," Green said.
"In Seattle, when they increased the minimum wage out there, McDonald's went to automation and then those people were out of work. That's the problem with doubling the minimum wage, you put people out of work. That's how you create dependency on the government."
A 2019 study by the Congressional Budget Office, a United States federal agency, found that were the federal minimum wage to be increased to $15 an hour, an estimated 1.3 million workers "who would otherwise be employed would be jobless in an average week in 2025." However, that same study found that the increase would also raise the wages of 17 million workers and lift 1.3 million families out of poverty.