Rep. Ellison: Middle class 'hollowing out'

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Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Ellison urged his colleagues in Congress to raise the federal minimum wage, calling it “a recommitment to the American Dream.”

“At the end of the day, we are adrift and our middle class is hollowing out. So many people are living in their parents’ homes and in their parents’ basements when they used to be buying houses,” said Ellison.

Ellison’s comments come as President Obama is pushing lawmakers to raise the federal minimum wage, currently at $7.25, and highlighting concerns about income inequality.

“This growing inequality is not just morally wrong, it’s bad economics,” Obama said in a speech in Galesburg, Ill. last week.

Ellison said there was more the administration could do.

“Much more needs to be done because the results are not there,” he said. “There’s something the president can do right now and that is to sign an executive order so that federal contractors have to pay their workers a livable wage.

“The president can change that tomorrow, and I hope that he does,” he added.

Critics of raising the minimum wage though say the move would hurt small businesses, forcing them to lay off workers.