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

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate Ben & Jerry’s co-founders announce effort to help 7 Dem House challengers Dems look to Gillum, Abrams for pathway to victory in tough states 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 SchumerTrump, GOP regain edge in Kavanaugh battle READ: President Trump’s exclusive interview with Hill.TV The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump slams Sessions in exclusive Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh accuser wants FBI investigation MORE (D-N.Y.), Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care: HHS diverts funds to pay for detaining migrant children | Health officials defend transfers | Lawmakers consider easing drug company costs in opioids deal Trump health official defends funding shifts to pay for detained migrant children Judiciary Democrat calls for additional witnesses to testify on Kavanaugh 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 ScottHealthy business vs healthy people — how will this administration address the two? Washington turns focus to child nutrition The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — McConnell warns of GOP `knife fight’ to keep Senate control 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) ManchinCook Political Report moves Texas Senate race to ‘toss-up’ The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh McCaskill to oppose Kavanaugh nomination MORE (W.Va.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskill'Kavanaugh' chants erupt at Trump rally in Missouri The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh, accuser say they’re prepared to testify Drug companies will love Trump's plan to get rid of drug rebates — the consumers will hate it MORE (Mo.), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterMontana lawmakers cheer recommendation to ban mining north of Yellowstone Cook Political Report moves Texas Senate race to ‘toss-up’ Trump Jr. campaign event looks for new venue after Montana restaurant declines to host MORE (Mont.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampGOP Senate candidate: Allegations against Kavanaugh 'absurd' The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh McCaskill to oppose Kavanaugh nomination MORE (N.D.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyThe Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh McCaskill to oppose Kavanaugh nomination The Memo: Kavanaugh firestorm consumes political world 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 ClintonFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate Heller embraces Trump in risky attempt to survive in November Live coverage: Cruz, O'Rourke clash in Texas debate 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.