The House of Representatives passed the Raise the wage Act, 231-199, that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 from $7.25. The bill states it has to happen by 2025.

While the left celebrates the news, the bill may never see the light of day in the Republican-controlled Senate.

CNBC listed the top points in the bill:

  • It would increase the federal pay floor to $15 per hour by 2025, then index future increase to median wage gains.
  • The minimum wage hikes would take effect on the following schedule: $8.40 in 2019, $9.50 in 2020, $10.60 in 2021, $11.70 in 2022, $12.80 in 2023, $13.90 in 2024 and $15 in 2025.
  • It would eventually abolish the lower minimum wage for tipped workers.
  • The bill would eliminate a seldom used pay floor for teen workers that pays them less than the minimum wage.
  • It would also toss out subminimum wages for workers with disabilities.
  • An amendment adopted Thursday, proposed by Rep. Tom O’Halleran, requires a Government Accountability Office report on the effects of minimum wage increases. House and Senate committees could use the report to recommend changes to curb any negative effects of the bill.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), passed in committee in March, but only came to the floor now after months of negotiations between the progressive Democrats and the centrist Democrats.

The Democrats and Midwest wanted the bill to include a tiered minimum wage to match an area’s cost of living. The progressives won in the end with a straight $15 an hour. The moderates only won the timeline since the bill originally increased the wage by 2024. Scott added an amendment to go into effect by 2024.

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) applauded the move, saying the “time has come” for an increase in the minimum wage.

The Congressional Budget Office determined a $15 minimum wage “had the potential to lift 1.3 million people out of poverty, and increase pay for 17 million workers.” However, the increase in the wage “could lead to 1.3 million people losing their jobs.”

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) denounced the bill because it “hits families and businesses hard.” She claimed the raise would force job creators “to reduce workers’ hours, eliminate jobs, increase automation, or close their doors for good.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he “has no plans to bring the legislation up in his chamber” since the bill would “depress the economy at a time of economic boom.”

President Donald Trump made it known he would veto the bill if it landed on his desk.

Numerous states and Washington, DC, have already raised minimum wages. Just a few days ago, Restaurants Unlimited, Inc. filed for bankruptcy due to higher minimum wages, but also “two disappointing restaurant openings and consumers shunning casual dining.”

In January, New York City restaurants had to cut staff and hours due to the state’s $15 minimum wage. Jon Bloostein, who operates six restaurants in the city, explained to CBS News he had to cut hours in order for the businesses to stay afloat along with raising menu prices.

 
 
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