02.08.21

Senator Murray Statement on CBO’s Findings that Raising the Minimum Wage Reduces Poverty

Senator Murray: “Today’s report makes clear what we’ve known all along: raising the minimum wage—which hasn’t increased since 2009—to $15 an hour isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s good policy that will give a raise to up to 27 million workers and lift almost one million people out of poverty.”

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement on the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) findings that the Raise the Wage Act would lift nearly one million Americans out of poverty and raise wages for up to 27 million workers.

“Workers on the frontlines of this crisis are putting their lives on the line every single day, while getting paid wages so low, they can’t even afford the most basic needs. This pandemic has only further highlighted that our economy is working for the biggest corporations and wealthiest individuals, while failing working families, and in particular, women, workers of color and workers with disabilities.

“Today’s report makes clear what we’ve known all along: raising the minimum wage—which hasn’t increased since 2009—to $15 an hour isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s good policy that will give a raise to up to 27 million workers and lift almost one million people out of poverty. This legislation has a clear, strong, federal budgetary impact for workers and families, and is critical to making sure that our economy works for everyone, not just those at the top. We’re not going to stop pushing until we make sure every worker in this country is paid a livable wage,” said Senator Murray.

Key findings for workers and families from the Congressional Budget Office report include:

  • Nearly one million people would be lifted out of poverty
  • Up to 27 million workers would get a raise

In January, Senator Murray, Senator Sanders and Congressman Scott, re-introduced the Raise the Wage Act, legislation that would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025 and phase out the subminimum wages for tipped workers, youth workers, and workers with disabilities. With one in nine fulltime workers still earning poverty-level wages, the Raise the Wage Act would finally give nearly 27 million Americans a raise, including roughly a third of all Black workers and a quarter of all Latino workers.

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