WASHINGTON — Karen Handel, the Republican candidate for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, said Tuesday that she does “not support a livable wage.”
Among the questions posed to Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff during a televised debate was whether they favor of a minimum wage increase.
Ossoff, who came just shy of receiving enough votes in the April primary to avoid a June 20 runoff against Handel, said he does — that “the minimum wage should be a living wage.”
“Look, if somebody’s working a 40-hour workweek, they deserve the kind of standard of living that Americans expect,” Ossoff said. “That’s part of the American dream, and there are too many folks having trouble making ends meet.”
Handel followed up by saying the issue is “an example of the fundamental difference between a liberal and a conservative.”
“I do not support a livable wage,” she said. “What I support is making sure we have an economy that is robust with low taxes and less regulation so that those small businesses that would be dramatically hurt if you imposed higher minimum wages on them are able to do what they do best: grow jobs and create good paying jobs for the people of the 6th District.”
Georgia’s minimum wage is $5.15 per hour, but the federal minimum wage of $7.25 applies in most cases. The minimum livable wage for a single adult in the three counties that make up Georgia’s 6th District is $12.01 per hour, according to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator.
Tuesday’s televised debate came exactly two weeks before Ossoff and Handel face one another in a June 20 special runoff election.
Handel repeatedly linked Ossoff to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), saying his “values are nearly 3,000 miles away in San Francisco.” Ossoff described Handel as “another career politician” and grilled her with questions related to her 2012 resignation from the nonprofit Susan G. Komen for the Cure in fallout over efforts to stop grants to Planned Parenthood.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Georgia’s minimum wage. It is $5.15 per hour.