Dems call for minimum wage increase

New Mexico Democrats called on Congress to raise the minimum wage.

On Thursday, Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Reps. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) used an upcoming vote in their home state legislature to push for both a state minimum wage increase as well as a federal increase that would then be indexed to inflation.

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“We must be unwavering in our commitment to restore the basic bargain on which this country was built, that if you work hard and play the rules you can get ahead. It's time to raise the minimum wage,” Heinrich said.

President Obama has also called for a minimum wage increase and has decided to increase the minimum wage for federal workers, which doesn’t require congressional approval.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said he wants to bring a bill to the floor that would increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 and then have automatic increases indexed to inflation.

“Our nation was founded on the promise that — no matter your background — anyone who works hard can get ahead,” Udall said. “It's time to raise the minimum wage to make sure we're keeping that promise so that all New Mexico families have a real chance at the American dream.”

Some Republicans argue against raising the minimum wage because they say it burdens small businesses, but recently several states and municipalities have voted to increase their minimum wages well above the federal wage rate.