Warren: Minimum wage should be enough to support a family

Warren: Minimum wage should be enough to support a family
© Greg Nash

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSenate barrels toward showdown over Trump's court picks Sherrod Brown says he has 'no real timetable' for deciding on 2020 presidential run Banking panel showcases 2020 Dems MORE (D-Mass.) said Thursday that minimum wage jobs in the U.S. today do not “permit a family to survive.”

“Back in the 1960s, a minimum wage job would support a family of three,” Warren said at a campaign event for Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinSchumer reelected as Senate Democratic Leader Number of LGBT lawmakers in Congress hits double digits Senate GOP readies for leadership reshuffle MORE (D) in Wisconsin. “It would cover a mortgage, it would cover the utilities and it would still put food on the table.” 

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“Why did a minimum wage job cover a family of three? Because Congress said a minimum wage should be a wage that a family can live on," Warren continued. "It should give them a chance to get in the middle class. That’s government that works for the people."

Warren urged the need for a higher minimum wage and a “government that works for the people.”

Today, Warren said, full-time, minimum-wage jobs “will not keep a mom and a baby out of poverty.”

“It will not pay the rent on a two-bedroom apartment,” she added. “It will not permit a family to survive.”

“And what happens down in Washington, where we haven’t raised the minimum wage for years, the question is not what does it take a family of three to survive,” she continued. “The question is what maximizes the profitability of Walmart. That’s government that works for the rich and the powerful.”

“We’re here for government that works for the people,” Warren said to cheers.

Her remarks come one day after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said he would oppose any deal that would raise the federal minimum wage.

"My view is no. My view is a federal minimum wage is a terrible idea, and will damage, in particular, small businesses," he said, when asked about the prospect at an event on Thursday.

Democrats have pushed for the federal minimum to be increased to as much as $15 an hour, more than double its current rate of $7.25.