Sanders, Nearly 180 Democrats Unveil Bill to Raise Minimum Wage to $17

“Within the yr 2023 a job ought to raise you out of poverty, not hold you in it,” Sanders stated.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) launched a invoice on Tuesday to boost the federal minimal wage for the primary time in 14 years and finish the longest interval that the wage hadn’t been elevated because the minimal wage was established many years in the past.

The bill would elevate the present federal minimal wage by practically $10 an hour, rising it from the present stage of $7.25 to $17 an hour over the subsequent 5 years. It might additionally abolish the sub-minimum wage for tipped staff, which is presently a mere $2.13 an hour, and for staff with disabilities, whose median wage is barely $3.50 hourly.

Lawmakers estimate that this may elevate wages for practically one-fifth of the U.S. labor drive, or 28 million staff.

“The $7.25 an hour federal minimal wage is a hunger wage. It have to be raised to a residing wage — at the least $17 an hour,” Sanders stated in a statement.

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“Within the yr 2023 a job ought to raise you out of poverty, not hold you in it. At a time of large earnings and wealth inequality and record-breaking company earnings, we will now not tolerate hundreds of thousands of staff being unable to feed their households as a result of they’re working for completely insufficient wages,” he continued. “Congress can now not ignore the wants of the working class of this nation.”

Sanders, the chair of the Senate Well being, Training, Labor, and Pensions Committee, was joined by 29 Democratic Senate colleagues and practically 150 Home members in introducing the invoice. The Home model was launched by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Virginia), the highest Democrat on the Home Committee on Training and the Workforce. The invoice has the help of practically 50 organizations, together with main labor unions just like the AFL-CIO and teams just like the Financial Coverage institute.

“No particular person working full-time in America ought to be residing in poverty,” stated Scott.

The invoice represents a shift away from the outdated $15 an hour benchmark that progressive lawmakers and labor advocates had pushed for for over a decade, which analysis has discovered is now not a livable wage for households in any state within the U.S. Earlier this yr, Sanders stated that $17 is the brand new aim this yr, representing a elevate to the $15 an hour minimal wage that he had nearly gotten handed in 2021 based mostly on inflation.

Advocates have been saying for years that $15 and even $17 isn’t sufficient for a residing wage or to mirror employee productiveness; $17 is not a residing wage for a household of two adults and one youngster anyplace within the nation, in line with some estimates. If the federal minimal wage had risen in line with will increase to inflation and productiveness since 1968, specialists say it might be nicely over $20 if not over $30 as we speak.

In the meantime, if the minimal wage had saved up with will increase to Wall Road bonuses since 1985, it might be $61.75 an hour, an Institute for Coverage Research report discovered final yr.

Nonetheless, the invoice would characterize an enormous enchancment from the present federal minimal wage, the worth of which is at its lowest level in 67 years, having misplaced 28 p.c of its worth since Congress final raised it in 2009.

The press launch on the invoice appears to acknowledge that $17 is a compromise, mentioning comparable statistics on productiveness will increase and Wall Road bonuses. However even on the compromise quantity, the laws is unlikely to go Congress, with Republicans in charge of the Home and conservative Democrats against elevating the minimal wage.

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