U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Alabama, voted for the Raise the Wage Act, which would gradually raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 over the next six years.
It would be the first increase in the minimum wage since 2009 if it were passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Donald Trump, which is unlikely.
“Americans across the country are working longer hours and still struggling to make ends meet. It is clear that these hardworking Americans deserve a raise,” Sewell said. “While the legislation is not perfect, I am committed to keeping Democrats’ promise to raise the minimum wage for the American people and for Alabamians who have been left behind by our legislature’s refusal to raise the statewide minimum wage.”
According to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute, the act would benefit up to 33 million American workers and 125,000 workers in Alabama’s 7th Congressional District alone.
A report by the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the act could help 1.3 million Americans out of poverty. The same report, though, found more than 3 million jobs could be lost if the minimum wage increase went into effect.
“In the 7th Congressional District, over 45 percent of workers could be affected by the Raise the Wage Act, helping families make ends meet and boosting economic growth by putting money in the pockets of workers who will spend it in their communities,” Sewell said.
Along with raising the federal minimum wage, the act would index future increases in the federal minimum wage to median wage growth to stop the minimum wage from eroding overtime again.
Guaranteed tipped workers, youth workers and workers with disabilities will be paid at least the full federal minimum wage by phasing out the subminimum wages that can allow them to be paid less than $7.25 an hour.