WASHINGTON D.C. – An outgoing U.S. congressman implored the state’s business community to support such measures as increased minimum wage in honor of the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg.
U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-12) declared “we will be a great country” with a bright future if lawmakers and officials support investing in the nation’s infrastructure despite the country’s economic woes since being hit by the Great Recession.
“The dream seems remote for a lot of American people when we say, ‘Sorry, we can’t afford that,’” Holt said during the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce’s annual chamber trip in Washington D.C.
“It would have been so easy to say then ‘we can’t afford to do that,’” he said, referring to the GI bill that benefit Lautenberg and other WWII veterans.
“There’s been so many times in American history where ‘the can do’ overcame the ‘can’t do,’” he added.
“If our state is going to continue to lead and if our government on the federal level is going to succeed, we must invest,” he said.
Holt spoke specifically about increasing the minimum wage as an example of how to invest in people.
“Just the facts here,” he said, acknowledging he was speaking at an event hosted by an organization that opposed the New Jersey Legislature’s proposal to increase the state’s minimum wage.
“I’m not being confrontational. I’m not being combative. I’m just talking about history,” Holt said.