Today in Congress, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (Wash.) and Representative Robert “Bobby” Scott (Va.) introduced the Raise the Wage Act, which would benefit 37.7 million workers—and the businesses that serve them—by gradually raising the minimum wage to $12 by 2020.
Thanks to crucial input from EPI researchers, the Raise the Wage Act establishes automatic increases in the minimum wage starting in 2021 to keep pace with rising wages overall. This means that workers will receive annual raises without the need for future congressional action.
Low-wage workers, like all workers, deserve an incremental and predictable raise each year.
The bill would also eliminate the subminimum wage for tipped workers, which has been frozen at $2.13 an hour since 1991. In states that have a subminimum wage, tipped workers are twice as likely as non-tipped workers to live in poverty.
If passed, the Raise the Wage Act would benefit 32 percent of wage-earning women, 37 percent of African American workers, and 40 percent of Hispanic workers. Three-fourths of all Americans—representing all demographics—support raising the federal minimum wage to over $12 an hour. This is a tremendous opportunity to raise America’s pay. It’s a bold step toward ensuring that American prosperity is broadly shared.
The Economic Policy Institute Policy’s Center has been providing critical research to members of Congress as well as activists on the ground who are fighting for a stronger minimum wage. Join us in our fight to increase workers’ wages and create an economy that works for all, not just the wealthy and large corporations.