Rep. Barbara Lee OK with California minimum wage at $26 an hour

California Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee, one her party’s most progressive members, thinks her home state should increase its minimum wage to as much as $26 an hour.

Lee said a few days ago on CNN’s “Crossfire” that she likes the mayor of Seattle’s proposal to increase the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, then said she would support such a plan in California without fear of increasing unemployment.

"In California, more than likely from what I remembered, a living wage where people could live and take care of their families and move toward achieving the American dream was about $25, $26 an hour," she told co-host Newt Gingrich, a former GOP House speaker and presidential candidate, as reported by

The high cost of living and taxes in California forcing some residents and businesses to leave is well known, with Toyota officially announcing last week its departure for Texas.

Maryland and other liberal-leaning states have recently increased their minimum-wage rates. However, many Republicans and other fiscal conservatives have argued such an increase would result in companies hiring fewer workers. And just last week, the Senate rejected a plan backed by President Obama and fellow Democrats to increase the federal minimum wage.

Appearing with Lee on “Crossfire,” Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., said he also would back such a huge wage hike in California -- so the lost jobs will go to Maryland and other states across the country.