//Capitol Report: Congressional Democrats roll out $15 minimum wage legislation

Capitol Report: Congressional Democrats roll out $15 minimum wage legislation

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Attorney Gloria Allred holds a T-shirt that reads ‘$7.25’ during press conference about the low pay and treatment of former Houston Texans cheerleaders in June 2018 in New York City.

Congressional Democrats on Wednesday introduced legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The bill was introduced at a press conference with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent who may seek the Democratic nomination for president.

“The middle class is the backbone of our country, and the middle class and those who aspire to it are those we are here to work for,” Pelosi said.

“We are living today in an American economy which is doing very well for the people on top, not so well for working families,” Sanders said.

The federal minimum wage has been at $7.25 since July 2009. The Raise the Wage Act would only gradually lift that wage, reaching $15 per hour by 2024. It would then index future minimum wage increases to median wage growth. It would also phase out subminimum wages for tipped, youth and disabled workers.

The bill was introduced with 181 House cosponsors and 31 Senate cosponsors. It is highly unlikely to become law under a Republican-controlled Senate.

Many states have already been lifting their minimum wages above the federal minimum. Some 5.3 million workers started receiving higher pay starting Jan. 1, according to an analysis released by the left-leaning think tank Economic Policy Institute.

In 2017, over a half-million workers received the federal minimum wage, and another 1.8 million workers made below that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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