CONGRESSMAN MORELLE VOTES TO RAISE FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE TO $15
(Washington, DC) – Today, Congressman Joe Morelle voted to raise the federal minimum wage for the first time in a decade. The legislation, cosponsored by Rep. Morelle, will gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024, providing much-needed relief for hourly workers whose wages have failed to keep up with the pace of inflation.
“For far too many Americans, the economy isn’t working the way it should,” said Rep. Morelle. “Right now, individuals who work tirelessly in full-time jobs still struggle every day to make ends meet and support their families. I’m proud to pass this legislation and fulfil our promise to the American people that with hard work comes—at a minimum—a livable wage that lifts families out of poverty and into self-sufficiency.”
This legislation would gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 in 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.
For the past 40 years, Congress has failed to increase the minimum wage to keep up with inflation. In fact, today’s minimum wage worker has less buying power than a minimum wage worker had in the 1960s. Since the last federal increase in 2009, the purchasing power of the minimum wage has declined by more than 15 percent due to inflation.
The Raise the Wage Act would increase wages for over 30 million Americans and lift 1.3 million people, including 600,000 children, out of poverty. In addition, researchers estimate that a 10 percent increase in the minimum wage would increase sales by around $2 billion each year, providing a much-needed boost to America’s economy.
“In 2016, I was proud to help New York State lead the way in enacting a gradual $15 minimum wage, and now I’m pleased to help bring that same progress to the rest of the country,” continued Rep. Morelle. “This long-overdue legislation will lift 1.3 million families out of poverty, boost our local economy, and empower Americans with the opportunity to achieve economic mobility. I encourage my colleagues in the Senate and the President to join us in immediately taking action to raise the wage.”