Cunningham Statement on his Vote Against the Raise the Wage Act

July 18, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Following his vote against H.R. 582, the Raise the Wage Act, Rep. Joe Cunningham (SC-01) released the following statement:

“It is clear that the minimum wage is far too low in South Carolina. I believe we must raise the minimum wage to double digits. But a bill that would cause 3.7 million Americans to lose their jobs and eliminate the tipped wage – harming tipped employees and small businesses that make up the backbone of the Lowcountry’s service economy – is not something I can support.

I did not make this decision lightly. Over the last 6 months, I’ve spoken with tipped workers, restaurant managers, and small business owners who expressed real fear that this legislation would result in reduced employee hours, price hikes, job losses, and force businesses to close entirely. More than doubling the minimum wage and increasing the tipped wage sevenfold would place a burden on Lowcountry businesses that they could not sustain.


Hardworking South Carolinians deserve a raise, plain and simple. But there is a way to raise the minimum wage without raising prices and putting jobs in jeopardy. We must go back to the drawing board and work together as Democrats and Republicans to find a compromise that involves buy-in from the business community.”