Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin says the federal government has no role in setting a minimum wage, which he suggests violates the U.S. Constitution.
The Tea Party-backed candidate made the comments during a campaign stop in western Kentucky this week.
“I don’t see anywhere that it has been constitutionally-defined,” Bevin told Think Progress when asked if it was unconstitutional.
Bevin, a Louisville investor whose net worth up to $55 million, added that no one in either political party is proposing its repeal, however.
Raising the pay of workers to $10.10 has been a major point of contention in city and state politics, especially in the U.S. Senate contest.
Listen to Bevin’s full comments here:
Likely Democratic nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes has been a proponent of raising worker’s pay to contrast herself with Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell. That is a part of her 50-county bus tour launched Friday.
McConnell recently led a filibuster to block a vote on a minimum wage increase.
Asked if the senator disagrees with Bevin’s assertion that it is unconstitutional, a McConnell campaign spokeswoman declined to respond to our request for comment.
The idea has been a bit of a divide for the GOP nationally, with many lawmakers opposing it due to concerns of eliminating jobs. But former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he supported a minimum wage hike and that his party “is all about more jobs and better pay.”
The GOP primary between Bevin and McConnell is May 20.