Backgrounder

Raise the Wage Act

Tags:

Democrat bill, Minimum wage

Bill name: Raise the Wage Act
Bill sponsors: H.R. 582, sponsored by Rep. Bobby Scott (R-FL), S. 150, sponsored by Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT)

Summary:  The Raise the Wage Act would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024 through incremental increases of $1.30.

  • Beyond 2024, the federal minimum wage would automatically increase annually, tied to the percentage increase in the median wages of all workers.
  • The federal tipped wage and youth wage would be phased out through a series of increases until their elimination in 2027.
  • The minimum wage for individuals with disabilities would also be phased out through a series of increases until that wage is eliminated in 2024.

Background: The last federal minimum wage increase came in 2007. A Democrat-majority Congress approved the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 (H.R. 2) – increasing the minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour through three increments over a period of two years. Eighty-two House Republicans and all but three Senate Republicans voted Yes. President Bush signed the wage increase into law as part of a larger emergency supplemental appropriations bill.

Former Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta told the Wall Street Journal earlier this year that more than doubling the federal minimum wage would result in a loss of jobs in the U.S: “What I think is clear is $15 is something that will undermine this economy and job creation.”

 

Bill Status: The Raise the Wage Act legislation was approved by the House on July 18, 2019 by a vote of 231–199. Previously, it had been marked up on March 6, 2019 by the House Committee on Education and Labor and approved on a party-line vote of 28-20. There has been no legislative activity in the Senate.

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Also related:  RAISE Act