LOCAL NEWS

Sen. Murray’s opponent says wage proposal goes too far

Oct 17, 2016, 6:31 AM | Updated: 6:32 am
debate, Vance, Murray, minimum wage...
Sen. Patty Murray and her opponent Chris Vance met for their first debate Sunday. (AP)
(AP)

Sen. Patty Murray’s opponent, Chris Vance, believes that raising the federal minimum wage too fast would be detrimental to small businesses.

“I have written legislation to establish a minimum federal wage at $12 by 2020 so that we can assure people you can have that hope and promise to get ahead in our country,” Murray said.

That’s far too high, Vance argues.

“Raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour all across America, according to research done by the Congressional Budget Office as Senator Murray supports, will destroy 700,000 jobs,” Vance said. “When you make it more expensive to hire people, fewer people get hired.”

Murray is seeking her fifth term. She met her Republican opponent in their first debate of the election season on Sunday at Gonzaga University.

Murray, A Democrat first elected in 1992, has said if voters return her to the Senate one of her priorities will be higher education and addressing high tuition costs and onerous student loans.

Vance is a former state GOP chairman and King County council member. He has blamed Murray for congressional gridlock and for not addressing deficit spending.

But Murray says that, like most people, she gets frustrated with the “dysfunction and gridlock.” To make her point, she highlighted her past work with Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan to end a budget stalemate

A Republican has not won a U.S. Senate race in Washington state since 1994.

The next debate between Murray and Vance is Oct. 23 in Redmond.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Sen. Murray’s opponent says wage proposal goes too far