Today the House of Representatives passed the Raise the Wage Act, which would gradually increase the minimum wage to $15 in 2025, automatically update it every year after that, and phase out the subminimum wage for tipped workers. This critical policy would lift wages for more than 33 million workers, 90 percent of them age 20 or older and 58 percent of them women. It would increase the total annual wages of these low-wage workers by $92.5 billion, boosting annual earnings for the average affected year-round worker by $2,800. It would reduce inequality and, according to the Congressional Budget Office, pull 1.3 million people out of poverty, nearly half of them children.
The real (inflation-adjusted) minimum wage is now roughly 30 percent lower than it was in 1968, and it has been more than 10 years since congress raised the minimum wage—the longest stretch in history. To end this shameful streak, it is incumbent upon the Senate to take up and pass the Raise the Wage Act immediately.
A $15 minimum wage will reduce inequality, reduce poverty, and help ensure that our lowest-wage workers are able to share in this country’s prosperity—a prosperity they helped create. Minimum wage workers deserve a raise. It’s time for Congress to give it to them.