Hoyer: Minimum Wage Hike 'the Issue in This Campaign'

PHILADELPHIA – Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump should be in favor of a minimum wage higher than $10 per hour.

Trump recently said he favored a $10 minimum wage but that the states should "really call the shots." The White House supports a $10.10 federal minimum wage.

"I would say 10," Trump told Bill O'Reilly. "But with the understanding that somebody like me is going to bring back jobs. I don't want people to be in that $10 category for very long. But the thing is, Bill, let the states make the deal."

In reaction to Trump's comments, Hoyer said the issue in the 2016 campaign is that Republicans in Congress do not support putting a higher minimum wage bill on the floor.

"No. I think it ought to be higher. If in 1968, if you were making the same thing you are making now, you’d be making $10.80 so he’s 80 cents too low, number one. Number two, it needs to be higher. If he wants to help working people as he says, then he wants to be for a higher minimum wage than that," Hoyer said at the Democratic National Convention.

"Now I didn’t hear his statement. I don’t know when he wants that $10 to go into effect, right now, but in any event, his party won’t put any kind of minimum wage increase on the floor. That’s the issue in this campaign. His party does not support it," he added.

Before the conventions, U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez told PJM on Capitol Hill that the federal minimum wage should not be up to states.

PJM asked Labor Secretary Perez, who favors a $15 per hour minimum wage, why the minimum wage should not be left to states and localities to decide rather than the federal government.

"Because we have the Fair Labor Standards Act 75 years ago that says nobody who works a full-time job should have to live in poverty, and we worked in a bipartisan fashion throughout that history to make sure we gave meaning to that law," Perez said.