Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said one of her goals in the new Congress was to raise the minimum wage. Today she was joined by other Democratic leaders and a group of fast food workers (watch above) to announce a new bill aimed at raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2024. It’s currently less than half that at $7.25 an hour.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said:
“The harsh truth of the matter is that minimum wage is no longer a living wage, it’s a poverty wage in so many places and towns across the country and no American that works hard should live in poverty, that’s always been part of America.”
Bernie Sanders adds:
“Our $15 minimum wage bill would give a raise to over 40 million Americans, including more than half of African American and Latino workers. A job should lift you out of poverty, not keep you in it. It’s time every worker in America is paid a living wage.”
“We need to change national priorities in this country. Instead of giving a trillion dollars in tax breaks to the top 1 percent and large, profitable corporations, we need to raise the minimum wage to a living wage of $15 an hour.”
There is no place in America where someone working full time & making the $7.25 federal minimum wage can make ends meet. Today, House & Senate Democrats are introducing the #RaiseTheWage Act to give roughly 40 million workers a raise. pic.twitter.com/6fgmjy5ORC
— Rep. Bobby Scott (@BobbyScott) January 16, 2019
Here’s an interesting look at who this increase would help:
— Economic Policy Institute (@EconomicPolicy) January 16, 2019
Tiffany Lowe, a mom of four and cashier at KFC in Memphis, TN also spoke at the news conference saying she makes $7.65 and barely makes ends meet. She often worries how she can even put food on her kids’ table. She said:
“I am here joined by other underpaid workers from across the country to say that everyone who work no matter where they are from, everyone deserves to be paid enough to live a decent life and provide for their families.”
New York City has already raised the minimum wage to $15 for companies with more than 11 employees. All companies will have to adhere to that new rate by the end of 2019.
As for the bill’s future? Even though it will likely to sail through the House, it’s expected to stall in the Senate. CNBC writes:
The proposal to hike the U.S. wage floor from the current $7.25 will likely fail in the GOP-held Senate even if it gets through the Democratic-controlled House. However, the new House Democratic majority sees the measure as a message that it wants to lift low-wage workers and boost the economy — and an effort to focus on its policy priorities amid the longest government shutdown ever.