T. W. Shannon Wants To Cut Minimum Wage

Former Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon

A U.S. Senate candidate is fighting to remove the federal minimum wage, calling it an intrusion into state's rights.

"I absolutely oppose a federal increase of the minimum wage," T.W. Shannon said. "Under no circumstances should the federal government be dictating to the states how they handle wages. I think the markets should drive those decisions."

Shannon argues raising minimum wage could potentially harm small businesses, which would be forced to cut jobs.

The federal minimum wage is set at 7.25, but 22 states have set higher minimum wages. However, Oklahoma isn't one of them. Shannon says the different markets and cost of living across the country is a major factor in why state governments should be the ones to make the decisions.

"The cost of living is so different among the many states. I think that state governments are in the best position to make those type of decisions, but really, the markets should be deciding that. I certainly trust the markets more than I trust the bureaucrats in Washington," Shannon says.

Opponents counter that eliminating the federal minimum wage raises too many questions and is problematic. Lakresha Young wonders if businesses will be willing to pay higher wages to their employees or if it may cause them to let go some employees to meet the raised wages.

"Do we have a lot of doors open, do we have a lot of labor jobs that are willing to pay a little bit more ?" Young said.

Despite concerns, Shannon promises to continue his focus on states' rights during his campaign to fight off an overbearing federal government.