Sanders, Democrats introduce $15 minimum wage bill
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersShowtime says Sacha Baron Cohen did not dress as 'disabled veteran' 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser Ocasio-Cortez floating progressive sub-caucus MORE (I-Vt.) is teaming up with top congressional Democrats to try to raise the federal minimum wage to $15, a move that has divided Democrats for years.

Sanders, Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerThis week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation Red-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE (D-N.Y.), Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayTop Dems urge Trump officials to reverse suspension of ObamaCare payments Dems launch pressure campaign over migrant families Jane Fonda: Kavanaugh confirmation would be a 'catastrophe' MORE (D-Wash.) — the top Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee — and 28 other Democratic senators introduced the Senate legislation on Thursday.

The bill would increase the federal minimum wage, currently at $7.25, to $15 by 2024, and tie future increases to national median wage growth. It would also gradually eliminate the current exception to the minimum wage for tipped workers.

“Just a few short years ago, we were told that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour was ‘radical,’ ” Sanders said. “Our job in the wealthiest country in the history of the world is to make sure that every worker has at least a modest and decent standard of living.”

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With Thursday’s legislation, a majority of Senate Democrats now support a $15 federal minimum wage bill. Reps. Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottTop Dems urge Trump officials to reverse suspension of ObamaCare payments Overnight Health Care: Judge blocks Kentucky Medicaid work requirements | Trump officials consider cuts to ObamaCare outreach | House probes HHS office in charge of migrant children Top House Dems request broad investigations into Trump immigration policy MORE (D-Va.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) also introduced the bill in the House with 152 co-sponsors.

Red-state Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinMorrisey accuses Manchin of 'lying' to Trump, attacks ‘liberal’ record The Hill's Morning Report — Trump, Putin meet under cloud of Mueller’s Russia indictments Doug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee MORE (W.Va.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillSenate Dems lock in million in TV airtime Why does Congress keep playing political games on FBI oversight? Red-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote MORE (Mo.), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterDem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick Dems in terrible bind on Kavanaugh nomination Election Countdown: Latest on the 2018 Senate money race | Red-state Dems feeling the heat over Kavanaugh | Dem doubts about Warren | Ocasio-Cortez to visit Capitol Hill | Why Puerto Ricans in Florida could swing Senate race MORE (Mont.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampDoug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee Red-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE (N.D.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyDoug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee Red-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Overnight Health Care: Official defends suspending insurer payments | What Kavanaugh's nomination means for ObamaCare | Panel approves bill to halt employer mandate MORE (Ind.) — each up for reelection in 2018 — are among the 17 Senate Democrats not signed on to the bill.

Democrats included the $15 minimum wage in their 2016 platform, but the issue sparked tension between presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonShocking summit with Putin caps off Trump’s turbulent Europe trip GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit MORE and progressives such as Sanders.

Clinton said during a debate against Sanders that she would sign a $15 minimum wage bill if she won the White House, which seemed to conflict with her support for a $12 minimum wage. She added that she believes a $12 minimum wage should be the floor while also “encouraging others to get to $15.”

When Sanders introduced a similar bill in 2015, he only garnered five supporters. Murray introduced a bill in 2015 to raise the minimum wage to $12, in line with Clinton, which got the support of 33 Democrats.

Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, also voiced support for the bill on Thursday, saying Democrats are helping "American workers break free from a rigged economy that favors our wealthiest citizens while squeezing the middle class."

No GOP lawmakers have backed the push for a $15 minimum wage, and Schumer specifically called out President Trump to support their proposal.

"If Republicans and President Trump are truly serious about standing up for workers, they’ll join us in fighting for a $15 minimum wage. … We’re going to continue fighting tooth and nail for this,” he said.

Trump signaled during the campaign that he would support a $10 minimum wage but also indicated that the decision should be left up to states.