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TODAY AMERICA GETS A RAISE (As Prepared for Delivery)Welcome to Pay Raise Day 2007! We did it! After ten long years, today America gets a raise!It’s a special day for working families, and I’m honored to be here with you. We have so many leaders here today who have dedicated their lives to the nation’s workers –John Sweeney, Anna Burger, Paul Sherry, Maude Hurd, Kim Gandy, William McNary, MichaelGoodwin, many other champions for working families. My thanks to them, and to each andevery one of you who have joined us here today. You were the true soldiers in this great battle for fairness and justice. You pounded thepavements, you knocked on doors, you made the phone calls to send out the message that noone in America who works for a living should have to live in poverty! In the ten years that we worked to get this bill passed, I met countless minimum wageworkers. I heard their stories of struggle and survival: How they worked more than one job. How they saved every penny they could. How they hadto make impossible choices every day about what food they could afford to buy and what billsthey could afford pay. Today I’m thinking of each of them - the 13 million Americans who will see more money intheir paychecks for the first time in a decade under this bill. They will have a few more dollarsto spend on the essentials of life, or a few more hours to spend time with their families. 6million children will have better food, better health, and better opportunities for the future.Don’t let anyone tell you that what we do here in Washington doesn’t make a difference to realpeople. 6 million children with a brighter future – that’s the difference having a DemocraticCongress makes! We’ve overcome many obstacles. We’ve faced every tactic in the Republican anti-workerplaybook – to get this minimum wage increase across the finish line. And let me assure youhere today, we have only just begun to fight!!!We need your help just as much in the battles ahead.• Will you join us in the fight for affordable health care?• Will you join us in the fight for better, safer schools?• Will you join us in the fight to create more good American jobs?• Will you join us in the fight to make sure minimum wage workers are never left behindagain?You and I know how important these battles are. You and I know we’re right. And we knowthat if we keep working hard together, the future of working Americans will only get brighter!Thank you very much.