Earlier This Year, Sen. Harkin and Rep. George Miller Introduced the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, which Would Raise the Minimum Wage to $10.10 and Index it to Inflation
Increasing the Minimum Wage to $10.10 Would Increase GDP by Nearly $33 Billion and Generate 140,000 New Jobs Over Three Years Due to Increased Consumer Spending
WASHINGTON, D.C.—On the four-year anniversary of the last minimum wage increase, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Rep. George Miller (D-CA), senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, today pointed to new polling data showing broad, bipartisan support for legislation they have introduced to raise the minimum wage.
The poll, conducted by Hart Research, showed that 80 percent of Americans support a Harkin-Miller proposal to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 in three steps. The legislation would then provide for automatic annual increases linked to changes in the cost of living. Harkin and Miller’s bill, the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, would also gradually raise the minimum wage for tipped workers—which currently stands at just $2.13 an hour—for the first time in more than 20 years, to 70 percent of the regular minimum wage.
“Four years without a raise is three years too many. While millions of workers have been without a raise, costs have continued to climb. Between 2009 and 2012, rent has gone up 4 percent, food is 8 percent more expensive, child care costs 9 percent more, and public transportation takes a 13 percent bigger bite out of workers’ wallets. We have to make sure that working families can keep up with the economy. Also, by increasing the minimum wage, we can give tens of millions of workers more money in their paychecks to spend at local businesses, increasing sales and boosting economic activity,” Harkin said.
“A new poll released today also shows broad, bipartisan support for my proposal with Congressman Miller to raise the minimum wage to $10.10,” Harkin added. “Eighty percent of Americans—a strong majority of Democrats, independents, and Republicans alike—support our bill. Raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do and the responsible thing to do.”
“The time has come for American workers to get a raise,” Miller said. “The American people understand that a decent minimum wage is not a handout. It’s about valuing work. It’s about growing the economy from the bottom up by increasing working families’ purchasing power.”
In addition to the top-line finding that 80 percent of Americans support the Harkin-Miller minimum wage proposal, other key findings of the poll include:
Fast Facts on the Minimum Wage