Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) and 17 House Democrats, including several Congressional Black Caucus members, proposed legislation Wednesday that would increase the minimum wage to $10 an hour.
Jackson said his bill, the Catching Up to 1968 Act, is needed to help low-income workers "catch up" to inflation, which he said is eating away at the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. He also said it would give these workers more income and boost overall demand for the struggling economy.
Under the bill, H.R. 5901, the minimum wage would be indexed to the Consumer Price Index, allowing it to rise automatically above $10 an hour as inflation rises.
"In 2007, Congress raised the federal minimum wage by $2.10 per hour — from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour — as a first step toward restoring its historical value, providing an additional $1.6 billion annually in increased wages," Jackson said. "It's now time to complete the job and index it into the future."