House passes bill to raise minimum wage to $15 per hour
The Democrat-controlled House on Thursday passed legislation raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, but it’s not expected to find any support in the GOP-majority Senate.
Approval by a 231-199 vote came after Democratic moderates and liberals worked out a compromise to increase it to $15 from $7.25 an hour, but over six years instead of five.
The bill also requires that the wage hike be studied to determine if it was causing job losses.
The Congressional Budget Office said in a report earlier this month that an increase to $15 would provide a financial boost to nearly 30 million workers and raise more than a million out of poverty, but it also would result in 1.3 million jobs lost by 2025.
“I commend my colleagues for taking this important step towards creating an economy that works for everyone,” Rep. Bobby Scott, a Virginia Democrat who introduced the legislation, said in a statement.
“Now, Senate Republicans must decide to either stand with American workers or turn their backs on hardworking people across the country.”
Republicans pointed to the CBO report and said the bill is just an attempt by Democrats to wipe out job gains during the Trump administration.
The minimum wage has been set at $7.25 an hour since 2009.
But 29 states and Washington, DC — like New York, which pays $15 an hour — have increased the minimum wage above $7.25.
Advocates said House passage was a step forward for low-income workers, including those who rely on tips.
“This is a tremendous achievement for all workers, and a historic victory for the millions of women and men who have earned a subminimum wage and relied on tips for generations since Emancipation of slavery. It shows what we can do when we are united to instill the tenets of equality for every hard-working individual in this great nation. Today, the United States House of Representatives agreed with us, heard our calls for justice, respect and dignity, and fought with us for living wages that workers deserve,” said Saru Jayaraman, president of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United.