Minimum wage report puts Democrats on defensive Minimum wage report puts Democrats on defensive The U.S. Capitol is seen in early morning light in Washington, Dec. 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) the associated press Feb. 19, 2014 Comments WASHINGTON (AP) — A report by Congress’ nonpartisan budget analysts seems to have thrown Democrats onto the defensive. That’s because the study by the Congressional Budget Office concluded that Democrats’ drive to boost the federal minimum wage could cost a half-million jobs by 2016. The budget office report was released Tuesday. It had findings that President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats hailed, like concluding that their proposed gradual increase to $10.10 hourly by 2016 would boost pay for more than 16.5 million people. They also welcomed its estimate that the proposed increase would lift 900,000 people out of poverty. But Democrats said the report’s finding that a half-million people would lose jobs was inaccurate. They say the wage increase would not hurt employment. Republicans have long labeled the proposal a job killer.