Bill to Raise the Federal Minimum Wage to $15 Heads to U.S. House Floor
On Wednesday, March 6, the House Committee on Education and Labor advanced a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024. It cleared the panel in a 28-20 party-line vote.
Casting the first vote was Congressman Donald Norcross, a member of IBEW Local 351 and New Jersey State AFL-CIO labor candidate.
“Finally. That’s the only word to describe what is happening in the House of Representatives. We have finally voted for the first time in more than a decade to lift fulltime working Americans out of poverty,” Congressman Norcross said in a press release yesterday. “I’ve worked for minimum wage and I was once a young single dad raising my son and having to balance work, family life and a checkbook. Back then it was hard. Today, for far too many Americans, it's nearly impossible. When people finally receive $15 an hour, they’ll spend more, become less reliant on government assistance and give our economy a needed boost.”
He added, “Today, we rightfully took the first step in moving the Raise the Wage Act forward – and we need to keep the momentum going until we get to the finish line. My colleagues in Washington need to wake up, follow my home state’s lead and raise the wage.”
The Raise the Wage Act follows the lead of New Jersey, which recently passed a landmark piece of legislation gradually increasing the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024.
Research shows the benefits of phasing in a $15 minimum wage by 2024 would be profound, raising pay for tens of millions of workers and reversing decades of growing pay inequality.
The Raise the Wage Act of 2019 was introduced by Congressman Norcross, the Democratic leadership team, and Senator Bernie Sanders with 181 House cosponsors. The bill will now move to the House of Representatives, where it will be voted on in the coming weeks.
This marked the first vote to raise the federal minimum wage in more than a decade, a huge win for America’s workers.