by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Viewers of Amy Cooke’s weekly “The Right AOC on Point” videos recently learned about Pearce’s Law, the political maxim that Democratic politicians can’t say what they really believe and still expect to win elections.
As a candidate, Elaine Luria backed a regionalized minimum wage hike, arguing that a uniform federal approach “could cause risk” to small businesses. As a congresswoman, however, the Virginia Democrat cosponsored legislation raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour nationwide.
During a May 2018 candidate forum, Luria contended that federal lawmakers should enact a wage hike “based off of different areas of the country that have different costs of living” in an attempt to minimize “risk to my business and other businesses.” Less than one year later, though, the Democrat cosponsored the Raise the Wage Act, a Nancy Pelosi-backed bill that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour regardless of local economic conditions. She cosponsored the bill again in January after voting to pass it in July 2019.
In addition to her repeated support for a uniform federal minimum wage, Luria opted against supporting a 2019 bill introduced by moderate Democrats that would set a wage floor “based on cost of living” and “regional economic conditions.” …
… Luria’s flip-flop will likely attract scrutiny from Republicans, who view the Virginia Democrat as a top target in the 2022 midterm elections. Luria campaigned as a moderate in 2018, narrowly defeating GOP incumbent Scott Taylor in a district that former president Donald Trump won by 3 points two years prior. …
… Employment Policies Institute managing director Michael Saltsman characterized House Democrats’ regional minimum wage variation as “the least bad approach.” He criticized Luria for supporting the Raise the Wage Act, calling the move “cynical” given that the Democrat campaigned against such a proposal.
Click play below to revisit Amy Cooke’s discussion of Pearce’s Law.