Members of Congress Introduce Legislation to Raise Minimum Wage to $15

Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-03), Rep. Keith Ellison (MN-05), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) are introducing the Raise the Wage Act of 2017 in the House (H.R. 15) and Senate (S. 1242). The bill has more than 150 cosponsors in the House and 23 cosponsors in the Senate.

"For the last 10 years, Congress, giving tax breaks to the rich, has forgotten to raise the minimum wage. We are here to remind them that a $7.25 minimum wage is a starvation minimum wage. Nobody can live on $7.25. You can’t live on $8. You can’t live on $10 an hour," Sanders said. "And that is why we are saying that after 10 years of inaction the United States Congress is going to raise the minimum wage to a living wage: $15 an hour."

"It's been ten long years since we last raised the minimum wage. While 29 states have taken action to raise their wages above the federal minimum since then, minimum wage workers in 21 states are still paid $7.25 an hour," said Rep. Scott. "This leaves a full-time, year-round worker with a dependent child living below the federal poverty threshold. Today's low-wage workers earn less per hour, adjusted for inflation, than their counterparts did 50 years ago, but productivity has nearly doubled over that same time period. That is unacceptable."

The legislation would give more than 41 million low-wage workers a raise, increasing the wages of almost 30 percent of the U.S. workforce. A $15 minimum wage by 2024 would generate $144 billion in higher wages for workers, benefiting their local economies.

To read the fact sheet on Raise the Wage Act of 2017, click here.