Proponents of a $15 minimum wage are finding support in the House. But, as Morgan Wright reports, the legislation faces a tough road ahead in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey says American hourly workers face an unbearable situation: Wages are flat and the prices of life’s necessities keep rising.
“By some estimates, we live in a country where wages went up by 12 percent; only 12 percent over 40 years.”
The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour since 2009. Casey says many low wage families are desperate–as costs climb for college tuition, health care, childcare, groceries, and more. He says Congress must find a way to get wages up and drive costs down.
Senator Bob Casey says, “We’re literally at the point where a generation of Americans are facing the prospect of making a hell of lot less money in real dollar terms than their parents”.
Casey is a Senate Co-Sponsor of the ‘Raise the Wage Act’ to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next 6 years. But, the legislation has been met with skepticism from Republican lawmakers.
Congressman John Joyce says, “Individual industries, individual employers must decide what’s the best wage for its employees… There are wages that are certainly higher than a guaranteed minimal standard, and there are wages that can be lower than a guarantee minimal standard, the marketplace must be enforced to allow the best wage for the best worker.”
Despite Joyce’s objections, a similar minimum wage bill in the Democrat-controlled House is gaining traction. It already has more than 100 co-sponsors.
But, Casey’s Senate bill faces a much tougher road, where Republicans are in control.
Senator Casey says a federal wage increase hasn’t done in a decade or more at the federal level. He says $7.25 is way too low, Congress must increase it $15 dollars an hour.