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Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., heads to a Senate hearing on April 27, 2021. (AP) Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., heads to a Senate hearing on April 27, 2021. (AP)

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., heads to a Senate hearing on April 27, 2021. (AP)

By Harrison Dover April 28, 2021
By Sammie Smith April 28, 2021

Joe Manchin gets it wrong about states with low minimum wages

If Your Time is short

• Twenty-one states have a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour —  more than 40% of states.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., played a pivotal role in derailing inclusion of a $15 minimum wage in the American Rescue Plan, President Joe Biden’s coronavirus and economic relief bill.

On March 7, four days before the measure was signed into law, Manchin reiterated his opposition to raising the federal minimum wage as high as $15, a level Biden and many congressional Democrats had originally sought to include in the bill.

In an interview on ABC’s "This Week," Manchin said he supports raising the minimum wage to $11 an hour, but not as high as $15.

"The bottom line is there is not one senator out of 100 that doesn't want to raise the minimum wage," Manchin said. "$7.25 is sinfully low. We must raise it."

Manchin went on to say that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., "has chosen $15 and, you know what, an awful lot of areas and states have moved to $15. A lot of them moved a lot further than $7.25."

But Manchin continued, "There’s very few, I would think, if any, are at $7.25."

His assessment was far off base.

Featured Fact-check

According to the federal Labor Department, 21 states have a minimum wage equal to the federal level of $7.25: Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

That’s more than 40% of states, not a "few."

Manchin’s own state, West Virginia, has a rate that’s only slightly higher than the federal minimum, $8.75.

We should note that several states have set a path to move toward a $15 minimum wage. They include California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and the District of Columbia. But in these states, the $15 rate will be phased in over several years, and none has reached that level yet. 

We reached out to Manchin’s office but did not hear back.

Our ruling

Manchin said that "there’s very few, I would think, if any (states that) are at $7.25" for their minimum wage.

In reality, 21 states have a minimum wage that’s equal to the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

We rate the statement False.

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Joe Manchin gets it wrong about states with low minimum wages

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