WASHINGTON (WAVY) — Top Democrats in Congress have introduced a bill to gradually increase the federal minimum wage.
Congressman Bobby Scott, the chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, was joined with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Chuck Schumer, Senator Bernie Sanders, and working class Americans at a press conference speaking on the “Raise the Wage” Act.
The bill would gradually increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 by 2024.
The last time Congress voted to increase the minimum wage was in 2007. It went into effect in 2009.
“We’re here because we know Americans need a raise,” Scott said.
Scott says that the bill would achieve three critical goals, including the increases by 2024.
The second phase would make sure workers are paid in full by phasing out subminimum wages by creating one fair wage for all, according to Scott.
He also says that the wages would continue to keep pace with inflation by tying future increases to median wages.
Democrats say that if passed, 40 million people would get a raise of about $3,500 by 2024.
Tipped wages, youth wages and individuals with disabilities would also see an increase. Tipped workers will see an increase to $14.10 by 2026.
Youth employees, who are under the age of 20, would see an increase to $14.25 by 2026, and Individuals with disabilities, who currently have subminimum wage certificates, would see an increase to $12.85 by 2024.
Democrats says the bill would help women and workers of color and that a 10 percent increase in minimum wage would increase business sales in the economy by $2 billion each year.
“When we put money in the pockets of American workers, they spend that money in their community. This bill will stimulate the economy on Main Street,” Scott said.