KENNEDY AND COLLEAGUES CALL FOR RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE IN THE TRUE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS
Washington, DC- Today, Senator Kennedy and Congressmen Hoyer and Miller stood before the Capitol Christmas tree to discuss the true meaning of Christmas: hope, generosity, and goodwill toward others. In this spirit, the lawmakers called upon Congress to raise the national minimum wage so that the millions of working families struggling to survive on the minimum wage will find hope. Twice this year, Senator Kennedy has brought to a vote a measure to raise the current level of 5.15 to a new level of $7.25. The Republican leadership has blocked it even though the last time the minimum wage was increased was in 1997.
“There are those in America who urge the return of the word ‘Christmas’ to this holiday season,” Senator Kennedy said. “I believe that while it is an important one, Christmas is more than a word. It is a belief in a power far greater than ourselves. It is a belief in the possibility of lives full of hope and fulfillment. It is a belief that each of us has a sacred obligation to care for one another and to help those in need – to lend a hand to the least of those in our midst. Raising the minimum wage would make a real difference, and a brighter Christmas, in the lives of millions of working families. In the wealthiest nation on earth, no one who works for a living should have to live in poverty.”
Kennedy, Hoyer and Miller were joined by Rev. Dr. Robert Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches who is part of the “Let Justice Roll/Living Wage Campaign” involving religious leaders across the country. They also heard from Heather Boushey, economist from the Center for Economic and Policy Research on their report detailing the difficulty that families living on the minimum wage have in making ends meet.
Below are Senator Kennedy’s remarks, a fact sheet on the minimum wage, and a list of the grassroots activity across the country to fight for a living wage.