The House passed the $15 minimum “Raise the Wage Act”. It would raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2025 in a gradual manner as follows:
- $8.40 immediately
- $9.50 in 2020
- $10.60 in 2021
- $11.70 in 2022
- $12.80 in 2023
- $13.90 in 2024
- $15.00 in 2025
It also rapidly raises the minimum wage for tipped and disabled employees to reach $15 by 2025 as well. Future increases are indexed to the median wage for all workers. Passing the House was actually quite a lift and not as easy as you’d think.
A similar bill to increase the federal minimum wage failed to pass in March after lawmakers from rural and Republican-leaning districts raised concerns, claiming that it would be too much of a burden for some small businesses, especially in places where the cost of living is lower than large urban areas. — www.nbcnews.com/…
The measure, which passed largely along party lines, 231-199, after Republicans branded it a jobs-killer, faces a blockade in the Senate, where Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said he will not take it up. Only three Republicans voted for it, while six Democrats opposed it. Most represent swing districts.
But it previews what Democrats would do if they capture the Senate and the White House in 2020, and it demonstrates how fast the politics have shifted since 2012, when fast-food workers began to strike in cities around the country, demanding $15-an-hour wages and a union.
When the Fight for $15 movement was launched, the figure seemed absurdly high, and even Democrats thought it was politically impossible. — www.nytimes.com/…
The six Democrats who opposed it (with links to local reporting on their vote):
- Anthony Brindisi (NY-22)
- Joe Cunningham (SC-1)
- Kendra S. Horn (OK-5)
- Ben McAdams (UT-4)
- Kurt Schrader (OR-5)
- Xochitl Torres Small (NM-2)
Republicans who voted for it:
- Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1)
- Francis Rooney (FL-19)
- Chris Smith (NJ-4)
It is of course, very unlikely that the Republican controlled Senate and this administration will allow the $15 minimum wage bill to take effect. But that should not stop us form celebrating the enormous victory that passage in the House represents. A few years ago, this goal seemed outlandish, and had very little support, even from Democrats. But led by fast food workers and unions, most Americans have come to realize that this is a matter of fundamental fairness. 55% of registered voters support a $15 minimum wage.
Passage of the bill also represents a clear opportunity for Democratic candidates. Every single Democratic candidate should make it a part of their stump speech to say something like this:
Over 40 million Americans make less than $15 an hour. We have passed a bill to raise your wages to a living wage. Republicans and Donald Trump are blocking the bill because their billionaire friends want to keep skimming a few dollars off every working hour to enrich themselves further. Just how many yachts and jets do these people want, and how much suffering will they foist on working Americans to satisfy their greed?
Vote them out so more Americans can share in life’s glories.
Almost 60% of the workers who would benefit are women, and a disproportionate number of them are people of color:
WHO WOULD BENEFIT IF THE FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE IS RAISED TO $15 BY 2024?
A total of 39.7 million workers would benefit, including:
- 38.6 million adults ages 18 and older
- 23.8 million full-time workers
- 23.0 million women
- 11.2 million parents
- 5.4 million single parents
- The parents of 14.4 million children — www.epi.org/…
There are several Congressional leaders who worked to make this happen. We know their names. But this victory is not theirs, it belongs to the workers who stood up to demand a living wage and organized themselves to make it happen. It’s their victory, and we should remember how what this victory represents to them, their families and their well-being.
On that note, enjoy this: