While that political theater is playing out on Capitol Hill, the issue of a federal minimum wage hike continues to play out in different ways across the country. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released its report on the Raise the Wage Act, which is one of the vehicles in Congress that would mandate the $15/hour federal minimum wage. In summary, the CBO report projects that a $15 per hour federal minimum wage would move just under 1 million Americans out of poverty, but would also cause a loss of 1.4 million jobs. Additionally, the increase is projected to add $54 billion to the federal deficit over the next 10 years. Earlier this week, fast food workers from a number of QSR brands – primarily McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King – staged coordinated strikes in some 15 cities around the country as diverse as Charleston SC, Chicago IL, Raleigh and Durham NC, Houston TX and Miami FL among others. The strikes were organized by the Fight for $15 organization. In other news, the National Restaurant Association released a new survey showing the impact that a $15 federal minimum wage combined with the elimination of the tip credit would have on restaurant pricing. Of the 2,000 restaurant operators surveyed, a full 84% said such an increase would reduce employment levels, while 65% reported they would look to technological advancements and new equipment to replace some workers. In addition, an astounding 98% of those surveyed reported they would raise their prices to cover the increases.