Democratic lawmakers are coming together to introduce a bill to increase the federal minimum wage in the U.S. to $15 per hour by 2025.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has pushed for increasing the minimum wage during his runs for president in 2016 and 2020, is among the other lawmakers introducing the legislation, “Raise the Wage Act of 2021.” They are seeking to gradually raise the federal minimum wage.
“Let’s be clear. The $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage is a starvation wage,” Sanders said in a statement.
The Vermont senator added:
“No person in America can make it on $8, $10, or $12 an hour. In the United States of America a job must lift workers out of poverty, not keep them in it. […] We can no longer tolerate millions of workers not being able to afford to feed their families or pay the rent. The time for talk is over. No more excuses.”
The minimum wage has not been increased since 2009, according to The Guardian.
The effort is also by Reps. Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Stephanie Murphy (D- Fl.), and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).
According to the Economic Policy Institute, gradually raising the minimum wage by 2025 would affect 32 million workers.
What concerns me as much as anything is that half our people are living paycheck to paycheck. Millions of people are trying to survive on starvation wages. It’s morally imperative that we raise the minimum wage to a living wage that’s at least $15 an hour.https://t.co/VBysQzUgcr— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 26, 2021
Murray said in a statement:
“Democrats are asking for $15 an hour, because no one working 40 hours a week, should be making $15,000 a year. If we’re committed to an economy that works for everyone, we need one fair, livable wage for everyone — and that includes workers with disabilities, tipped workers and youth workers. We won’t accept carve-outs and we won’t accept leaving anyone behind.”
“Not long ago, people said a $15 minimum wage was unthinkable. But a grassroots movement refused to take no for an answer,” Sanders wrote on Twitter on Friday.
He seemed to praise President Joe Biden’s order seeking to raise the minimum wage for federal employees and contractors to $15 per hour, but added, “Now, Congress must pass a $15 living wage for ALL workers.”
Not long ago, people said a $15 minimum wage was unthinkable. But a grassroots movement refused to take no for an answer.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 22, 2021
Today, the President's order begins raising the minimum wage to $15/hour for federal contractors.
Now, Congress must pass a $15 living wage for ALL workers. https://t.co/IehgxV8Mvs
Pelosi said in a statement that by re-introducing the legislation, “which passed on a bipartisan basis in the previous Congress, the Democratic Congress is taking another strong and long-needed step to honor the dignity, dedication and contributions of millions of hard-working Americans.”
She added, “This legislation is a key part of Democrats’ commitment to not only recover from these crises, but to Build Back Better — and to do so in a way that advances justice, prosperity and equality for all Americans.”
The House of Representatives passed legislation in July of 2019 to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025.
Schumer also said in a statement, “I am happy to move forward with this group to make it happen and give the American people a raise.”