Many economists say a higher minimum wage would eliminate low-wage job creation and make it even harder for people to find entry-level jobs. But Miller argued that a higher wage would spur economic growth by giving families more money to spend.

"That's why a living wage is not about asking for a handout," he said. "Rather, it's about valuing work. And it's about growing the economy from the bottom up by increasing working families' purchasing power."

Fast-food workers were striking around the country on Thursday to protest the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, which they said it not a living wage. The strike shut down some restaurants in dozens of cities and included demands for an hourly wage as high as $15 an hour.

Miller has proposed the Fair Minimum Wage Act, H.R. 1010, which would increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.