WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, President Joe Biden signed a pair of executive orders that lay the groundwork for more federal workers to be paid $15 an hour and for federal contractors to pay workers a mandatory $15 hourly minimum wage. 

Patrice Onwuka, senior policy analyst at Independent Women’s Forum, released the following statement:

“The priorities of the Biden administration are baffling. Nearly 16 million American workers received unemployment checks at the start of the year, but President Biden is choosing to reward some federal workers and contractors, who have had no disruption to their employment, with a pay raise? He also wants to make it more difficult to get rid of troubled government workers, but boost union power.

“Our labor market is stalling. Neither these executive orders nor his proposal for a federal $15 minimum wage will push it back into drive. Unemployment declined this summer because states were reopening. But many of America’s small businesses will crumble under the weight of a $15-minimum wage and, as the CBO has estimated, potentially millions of workers will lose jobs. Low-skilled and younger workers, many of whom are women, will bear the brunt of these losses.

“President Biden should encourage states to lift the heavy-handed and unscientific restrictions on businesses and continue to push to reopen public schools rather than prop up organized labor and bureaucrats.”