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Top Democrats Introduce Bill Gradually Raising Minimum Wage to $15 by 2024

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, joined Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and House and Senate leadership to introduce the Raise the Wage Act of 2019. The bill would gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2024, index future minimum wage increases to median wage growth, and ensure all workers are paid at least the full federal minimum wage by phasing out the subminimum wages for tipped workers, youth workers, and workers with disabilities.


The Raise the Wage Act was introduced with 31 cosponsors in the Senate and 181 cosponsors in the House of Representatives.


“There are millions of women and men across the country who work a full-time job, or work multiple jobs, and are still unable to pay their bills and make ends meet. Women make up almost two-thirds of minimum wage earners and two-thirds of tipped workers, many of whom struggle to support their families on a subminimum tipped wage. So I’m proud to introduce the Raise the Wage Act today as one of the many steps we can take to ensure workers, especially the millions of women supporting their families, have the economic security to build better lives,” said Senator Murray, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.


“No person working full-time in America should be living in poverty. The Raise the Wage Act will increase the pay and standard of living for nearly 40 million workers across this country. Raising the minimum wage is not only good for workers, it is good for businesses, and good for the economy. When we put money in the pockets of American workers, they will spend that money in their communities. This bill is a stimulus for Main Street America,” said Chairman Bobby Scott, Committee on Education and Labor.


“Just a few short years ago, we were told that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour was ‘radical.’ But a grassroots movement of millions of workers throughout this country refused to take ‘no’ for an answer. It is not a radical idea to say a job should lift you out of poverty, not keep you in it. The current $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage is a starvation wage. It must be increased to a living wage of $15 an hour,” said Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).


“A $15 federal minimum wage affirms the bedrock idea of fairness in our country: that hard work deserves a decent wage. We will open up opportunities for working families and drive economic growth that lifts up all communities – because our economy works best when it works for everyone, not just the wealthy and privileged few.  I commend Chairman Bobby Scott and all our House Democrats for their leadership for America’s working men and women, who are the backbone of our country,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“For a long time, Democrats have been trying to raise the minimum wage to keep pace with the times. The harsh truth of the matter is that the minimum wage is now a poverty wage in too many parts of America. And no American with a full-time job should be living in poverty. Despite campaigning as a champion for working Americans, President Trump has abandoned working Americans while in office. He’s tried to strip away workers’ health care, given a massive tax cut to corporations and the wealthy, and used workers as bargaining chips in shutting the government down. If President Trump isn’t going to stick up for American workers on key issues such as raising the minimum wage, Democrats will,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.



To read the bill text of the Raise the Wage Act, click here.


To read the section-by-section of the Raise the Wage Act, click here.


To read a fact sheet on Raise the Wage Act, click here.