$12 Minimum Wage Raise Supported by Union Leaders and Obama Administration

WASHINGTON—Union leaders and the Obama administration backed a new proposal by congressional Democrats to raise the federal minimum wage to $12 hourly.


Introduced by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va. would take full effect in 2020.


The federal minimum wage of $7.25 hourly hasn’t changed in a decade and almost half the states and several large cities, tired of congressional dysfunction and inaction, have raised their own minimum wage levels.


Murray said the Raise The Wage Act would increase the current wage in steps through 2020, while gradually eliminating the separate Tipped Minimum Wage.  Raising the regular minimum would help 27 million-38 million people – workers and their families — speakers said.


In a statement inserted into the Senate record, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., its most-senior Democrat, noted the federal minimum wage “lost more than 30 percent of its value since 1968.” Since then, he said, “productivity doubled, and low-wage workers today bring more experience and education to the workforce.


Pelosi pointed out that after 2020, the legislation would index the minimum wage to inflation, and it would eliminate the separate lower tipped minimum. Indexing would end the erosion Leahy mentioned.  Raising the regular minimum to $12 would raise millions of people into the middle class, Pelosi added.


“Remember this: In a consumer economy, when the middle class succeeds, the economy succeeds.  This lifting people into the middle class – so that they have the confidence to consume, inject demand into the economy, create jobs – lifts everyone up.  So this is a great thing for the American people.  What are we calling it?  Raise the Wage Act.  Raise the wage!  Bigger paychecks.  Bigger paychecks.”

Source: PAI