04.21.16

Murray Renews Democrats’ Call to Raise the Federal Minimum Wage for Working Families

Alongside Secretary Perez, Democrats, and labor advocates, Murray commemorated the one-year anniversary of introducing the Raise the Wage Act

 

Murray: “Let’s help our economy grow in the way we know is strongest – from the middle out, not the top down.”

 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, delivered remarks at a press conference to commemorate the one-year anniversary of introducing the Raise the Wage Act, legislation that would raise wages for nearly 35 million American workers. Senator Murray has been among the leading progressives pushing for a comprehensive plan to raise the federal minimum wage, which includes measures to make sure that the minimum wage keeps pace with inflation and eliminate the tipped minimum wage. In her remarks, Murray noted with pride that her home state of Washington has helped lead the country forward in these efforts, and she reiterated her strong support for state and local efforts to build off this legislation to raise their minimum wage laws.

 

Key excerpts from Senator Murray’s remarks:

 

“You know, two years ago in my home state of Washington, workers and advocates came together to raise the minimum wage in Seattle. The passion, energy, and momentum behind that effort was so inspiring. And it served as a beacon of light for more local efforts to raise wages and economic security in communities across Washington state and the country. But the truth is, the problem of stagnant wages isn’t isolated to a handful of cities or in one state or another.  The truth is, tipped workers, who are overwhelmingly women, can only count on $2.13 an hour. The rest of their paycheck is unpredictable and constantly in flux. The truth is, inflation has already eaten away at the value of the last federal increase Congress enacted nearly seven years ago.”

 

“Here’s the good news. Democrats are listening to the people across the country who want hard work to pay off. We want to finally restore the value of the minimum wage. We want to finally phase out the tipped wage. We want to finally index the minimum wage so that its value keeps up with a growing economy. Congressman Scott and I introduced our bill one year ago. And since then, we’ve gotten radio silence from our Republican colleagues in Congress. They are focused on cutting taxes for millionaires, billionaires, and massive corporations.”

 

“But on an issue as important as increasing incomes for workers and their families, we are not backing down. So either Republicans should join us in our efforts to give working families a raise, or they should have to explain how they can possibly expect hard-working families to eke out a living at $7.25 an hour. I’ve seen firsthand back in Washington state that when workers have economic security – when they earn enough to make ends meet, when they succeed, businesses succeed and the economy succeeds. We owe it to families across the country to set a federal wage floor that will make it a little easier for them and their families to get by.”

 

Full text of Senator Murray’s remarks: 

 

“I am so glad to be here today with my partner, Congressman Bobby Scott.

 

“It’s great to have members of the House and Senate leadership here today to show Democrats’ commitment to raising the minimum wage.

 

“I also want to thank Secretary Tom Perez for his work on this issue and so many more to expand economic opportunities to more Americans.

 

“And finally – but most importantly – I want to thank the workers and the advocates here today who have been the driving force of these efforts on the ground to boost economic security for more Americans.

 

“You know, two years ago in my home state of Washington, workers and advocates came together to raise the minimum wage in Seattle.

 

“The passion, energy, and momentum behind that effort was so inspiring.

 

“And it served as a beacon of light for more local efforts to raise wages and economic security in communities across Washington state and the country.

 

“But the truth is, the problem of stagnant wages isn’t isolated to a handful of cities or in one state or another.

 

“The truth is, tipped workers, who are overwhelmingly women, can only count on $2.13 an hour. The rest of their paycheck is unpredictable and constantly in flux.

 

“The truth is, inflation has already eaten away at the value of the last federal increase Congress enacted nearly seven years ago.

 

“Here’s the good news. Democrats are listening to the people across the country who want hard work to pay off.

 

“We want to finally restore the value of the minimum wage.

 

“We want to finally phase out the tipped wage.

 

“We want to finally index the minimum wage so that its value keeps up with a growing economy.


“Congressman Scott and I introduced our bill one year ago.

 

“And since then, we’ve gotten radio silence from our Republican colleagues in Congress.

 

“They are focused on cutting taxes for millionaires, billionaires, and massive corporations.

 

“But on an issue as important as increasing incomes for workers and their families, we are not backing down. 

 

“So either Republicans should join us in our efforts to give working families a raise, or they should have to explain how they can possibly expect hard-working families to eke out a living at $7.25 an hour.

 

“I’ve seen firsthand back in Washington state that when workers have economic security – when they earn enough to make ends meet, when they succeed, businesses succeed and the economy succeeds.

 

“We owe it to families across the country to set a federal wage floor that will make it a little easier for them and their families to get by.

 

“That’s why today, we’re renewing our call to increase the federal minimum wage.

 

“Let’s give millions of hard-working Americans a raise.

 

“Let’s make sure hard work pays off.

 

“Let’s help our economy grow in the way we know is strongest – from the middle out, not the top down.

 

“Thank you.”