Rep. Young's response to minimum wage query: 'Get a job'
TAMPA - Longtime U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, when asked whether he would support a bill to raise the minimum wage, told a man to "get a job." The gruff response came as the Indian Shores Republican was handshaking and mingling Wednesday at a Fourth of July event in Treasure Island. The man, identified in media reports as former Occupy Tampa protester Andrew "Pepe" Kovanis, approached Young for a brief conversation caught on video later posted by the website FLDemocracy. "Hi, I'm Pepe, how are you? Happy Fourth of July," the man says, leaning close to Young. "Jesse Jackson Jr. is passing a bill around to increase the minimum wage 10 bucks an hour. Will you support that?""Probably not," Young replies. The man responds: "Ten bucks an hour would give us a living wage." Young thinks a moment before asking: "How about getting a job." "I do have one," the man says, adding he makes $8.50 an hour. The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 since 2007. "Then why do you want that benefit? Get a job," says Young, by now moving over to greet another person. He doesn't seem to hear the reply. "I have a job, but it's not enough to get by on," the man says. Young, the longest-serving Republican in Congress, is seeking his 22nd term in the House. He is running against Democrat Jessica Ehrlich of St. Petersburg in the newly drawn 13th Congressional District. Jackson's minimum wage proposal is called the "Catching Up to the 1968 Act of 2012."