Will The GOP Stand In The Way Of A Living Wage?

Unless the Republican leadership gets in the way, the House is now poised to vote to increase the national minimum wage for the first time in a decade, after a crucial vote in the Appropriations Committee yesterday on an amendment offered by Congressman Steny Hoyer to increase the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25. For the almost 8 million American workers who struggle to survive on minimum wages, this potential raise is long overdue.

Congress has not raised the national minimum wage from $5.15 per hour since 1997, despite Democrats’ repeated efforts to do so. But the price of basic goods, like food and gasoline, have been rising, making it even harder for minimum wage workers to meet even the most basic needs. In fact, the national minimum wage is now at its lowest level in 50 years when adjusted for inflation, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

At $5.15 per hour – which comes to about $10,712 per year for a full-time worker – it is impossible to afford health care, enough nutritious food to eat, or safe and decent housing.

All Americans should get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. It would be immoral for any members of Congress to stand in the way of this important vote.