Five Years Later, It's Time to Raise the Minimum Wage
This Thursday is the 5th anniversary of the last increase to the federal minimum wage, marking a half-decade since our nation’s poorest workers received a raise. Last fixed at $7.25 in 2009, the minimum wage has since dropped in terms of real earnings due to inflation, losing nearly ten percent of its value over the last five years. While today’s fulltime employees face a tough job market and an increasingly global economy, no American worker should ever have to overcome a salary that leaves their family below the poverty line.
Here in Congress, I’ve taken a stand for legislation that work towards fair wages for our nation’s workforce. This year, I joined my colleagues to sign a discharge petition requesting that House leadership bring legislation to the floor that would, over the course of two and a half years, raise the minimum wage to $10.10. Today the supporters of the Fair Minimum Wage Act include not only Members of Congress, but private sector employees, national organizations and CEOs. Having worked for twenty years as a CEO myself, I understand how important it is that companies value their employees and provide our workers with the income they deserve.
Today, on the fifth anniversary of their last raise, I’m proud to recognize the more than 3 million Americans who receive the federal minimum wage or less for their work. Even with a full time job, many of these employees don’t earn enough to live above the poverty line. In the wealthiest nation in the world, that simply doesn’t pass the look yourself in the mirror test.
Here in Congress, I’ll continue to act as a voice for our nation’s poorest workers and other Americans living in poverty. I’m happy to hear your feedback, and I encourage you to answer my survey and let me know your thoughts on increasing the minimum wage.