Congress Votes to #RaiseTheWage, Now It’s Up To the Senate

History was made this week. For more than 10 years, the U.S. Congress has not raised the federal minimum wage. On Thursday, the House voted to give 40 million Americans a raise. More than 1.75 workers in Pennsylvania make less than $15 an hour and considering that PA’s minimum wage remains at $7.25 an hour, this is a monumental advancement.

But now, it’s up to the Senate. Please call Senator Pat Toomey, (202) 224-4254 and (215) 241-1090, and let him know that PA needs a raise.

The following Representatives from Pennsylvania, all of whom were endorsed by the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO voted this week to Raise the Wage, HR 582 (if your representative is on the list, please call and thank them for their vote):

Representative Brian Fitzpatrick [R]

Representative Brendan Boyle [D]

Representative Dwight Evans [D]

Representative Madeleine Dean [D]

Representative Mary Gay Scanlon [D]

Representative Chrissy Houlahan [D]

Representative Susan Wild [D]

Representative Matthew Cartwright [D]

Representative Conor Lamb [D]

Representative Mike Doyle [D]

Here’s an excerpt from the letter the AFL-CIO sent to Congress:

“This legislation would gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by the year 2024. In addition to indexing future increases to the growth in the median wage, the bill would gradually eliminate the subminimum wage for tipped workers, which has been stuck at $2.13 since 1991.

Because Congress has not raised the minimum wage in more than 10 years, millions of our nation’s full time workers live in poverty. If the minimum wage had risen at the same pace as productivity growth since 1969, it would be over $20 an hour today.

Phasing in a $15 minimum wage would benefit 41 million workers and begin to address the growing crisis of wage inequality. More than half of the workers who would benefit are adults between the ages of 25 and 54, and nearly two-thirds work full time. More than half (56 percent) are women, nearly 30 percent of whom have children.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, by 2024 a single adult without children will need at least $31,200 ($15 per hour on an annual basis) to achieve an adequate standard of living in all parts of the country. Allowing for a lower regional minimum wage, as some have suggested, would lock millions of workers into poverty, and would be especially harmful to people of color and women who would benefit most from a minimum wage increase.

Multiple studies have shown that modest increases in the minimum wage have not resulted in significant job loss, and the income boost experienced by low-income families benefits the country overall by reducing both poverty and income inequality.

Raising the minimum wage to $15 has the support of an overwhelming majority of Americans, and the benefits far exceed any potential cost.”

The following Representatives from Pennsylvania, all of whom were endorsed by the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO voted this week to Raise the Wage, HR 582:

Representative Brian Fitzpatrick [R]

Representative Brendan Boyle [D]

Representative Dwight Evans [D]

Representative Madeleine Dean [D]

Representative Mary Gay Scanlon [D]

Representative Chrissy Houlahan [D]

Representative Susan Wild [D]

Representative Matthew Cartwright [D]

Representative Conor Lamb [D]

Representative Mike Doyle [D]

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