Today, December 2nd, marks the longest period in the history of the federal minimum wage law that Congress has not raised the minimum wage. For the last nine years and three months, millions of hard-working Americans have had to make ends meet on just $5.15 per hour - an impossible task when you consider that the costs of many of life's basic necessities - groceries, child care, health insurance, and housing - have risen dramatically during that time. Since the minimum wage was first established in 1938, it has never gone this long without an increase.

On Election Day, voters across the country made their position clear by passing minimum wage ballot initiatives in six states, and by electing a new Congressional leadership that has pledged to put the American Dream back within reach of all working families. Our first step towards expanding and strengthening our nation's middle class will be to finally give workers the long-overdue pay raise they deserve by raising the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour. If we truly value work, then we have to ensure that all workers receive a fair day's pay for an honest day's work.