America’s workers are paying continuously rising costs for goods and services, yet those who earn very low wages have gone seven years with no action by Congress to raise the minimum wage and help them meet those costs. For too many working families a full-time job does not provide enough money to support a family. Raising the minimum wage would increase families’ ability to pay for child care, housing, food and medicine.
However, the Republicans will likely offer an alternative amendment with a lesser increase in the minimum wage of around $6.25 tied to provisions that will undermine worker protections. An increase to $6.25 would help 4.1 million workers, 3.3 million fewer than the Democratic proposal.
A fair increase in the minimum wage is long overdue. It’s been seven years since the nation’s lowest paid workers have had a raise. Congress should act as quickly as possible to pass a minimum wage increase that reflects the losses suffered as the result of seven years of inaction.
Opponents routinely argue that minimum wage increases cause job losses. The empirical minimum wage research solidly rejects this hypothesis and proves that childcare jobs did not fall when Congress enacted previous minimum wage increases in the 1990s.