Earlier this week, President Obama took the initiative by signing an order requiring that federal contractors pay their employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour. In this week’s weekly address, the president once again called on Congress to do their part for the American people and the economy, by raising the minimum wage.
But to finish the job, Congress needs to act. In the year since I first asked Congress to raise the minimum wage, six states have passed laws to raise theirs. More states, cities, counties, and companies are taking steps to join them. An overwhelming majority of Americans support raising a minimum wage that’s worth about 20% less than when Ronald Reagan took office.
Right now, there’s a bill in Congress that would boost America’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. That’s easy to remember: ten-ten. And remember, the average worker who would get a raise if Congress acts is about 35 years old. Most lower-wage jobs are held by women. And raising the minimum wage wouldn’t just raise their wages – its effect would lift wages for about 28 million Americans. It would lift millions of Americans out of poverty, and help millions more work their way out of poverty – without requiring a single dollar in new taxes or spending. It will give more businesses more customers with more money to spend – and that means growing the economy for everyone.