"Small businesses are the backbone of the Texas economy, and a government-imposed $15 minimum wage would put a boot on the neck of small businesses struggling under the weight of the pandemic," said Renae Eze, a spokeswoman for Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. "The Governor will help those small businesses recover and create more jobs for Texans."
Her comments came on the same day that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that Democrats' proposal would result in higher prices and shed 1.4 million jobs by 2025. However, the number of people in poverty would decrease by nearly 1 million.
The bill, titled the Raise the Wage Act of 2021, received support from President Biden and other Democrats in Congress.
“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the $7.25 federal minimum wage was economically and morally indefensible," House Committee on Education and Labor Chair Robert C. Scott, D-Va., said last month.
"Now, the pandemic is highlighting the gross imbalance between the productivity of our nation’s workers and the wages they are paid. Many of the essential workers who have braved a public health crisis to keep food on the table and care for our loved ones are still not being paid enough to provide for themselves or their families."
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Texas is one of many states that currently adheres to the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour. Meanwhile, 29 states and the District of Columbia have minimums that exceed that baseline.
Abbott recently posted data that showed Texas' workforce grew by 8,604 people. During the same period, Florida, with a minimum wage of $8.56 lost 275,674 workers; New York, with a minimum wage of $12.50 lost 427,018 jobs and California with a $12 per hour minimum lost 523,317.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that as of December, Texas had the 15th-highest unemployment rate in the country among states and Washington, D.C. at 7.2%.
Only four of the states on the chart rank below Texas in unemployment, with Michigan at 7.5%, Illinois at 7.6%, New York at 8.3%, and California at 9.0% -- the third-worst in the nation. The national average at the time was 6.7% and in January 2021 was 6.3%.
Fox News' Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.