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House Democrats Introduce Bill for $15 Minimum Wage

January 19, 2019

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

WASHINGTON—Congressional Democrats introduced a bill Jan. 16 that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour in 2024. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the Raise the Wage Act’s lead Senate sponsor, called the current rate of $7.25$7.25 a “starvation wage.” That rate, which is still the legal minimum in 21 states, has not been increased in 10 years. The bill has a much better chance of passing the House, where Democrats have a majority, than it does of even getting out of committee in the Republican-controlled Senate. All of the 188 cosponsors in the House and the 30 in the Senate are Democrats. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Education and Labor, dismissed them as promoting “Bernie Sanders’ extreme and unworkable campaign platform.” Committee chair Bobby Scott (D-Va.), the bill’s lead House sponsor, has contended that raising the minimum gradually would avoid the job losses that would come from more than doubling it all at once. Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry said in a statement that Congress was considering the increase only “because thousands of workers joined together, went on strike and demanded it.” Read more

January 19, 2019

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