Working-class Americans have waited too long, close to a decade in fact, for an increase in the minimum wage. This has been the second longest period without a pay raise since the Federal minimum wage law was first enacted in 1938.
I am quite uncomfortable using legislation to peg the minimum wage.
The minimum wage can play a vital role in lifting hard-working families above the poverty line.
Full-time workers earning the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 only earn about $14,500 a year in wages - below the poverty line for a family of two. That's unacceptable.
It has now been over 7 years since Congress last raised the minimum wage to its current level of $5.15 per hour. Since that last increase, Congress's failure to adjust the wage for inflation has reduced the purchasing power of the minimum wage to record low levels.
I was on the committee that helped raise the minimum wage here in Seattle. I introduced a statewide bill to raise the minimum wage in Washington state my first year in the state senate, and I really believe that raising the federal minimum wage, while not the answer to everything, addresses a lot of the issues at the very bottom.