Hillary Clinton Statement on Legislation to Raise the Minimum Wage to $9.50 Per Hour

Hillary Clinton Statement on Legislation to Raise the Minimum Wage to $9.50 Per Hour

The presidential campaign of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., issued the following news release:

With stagnant wages and skyrocketing costs for healthcare, energy and college, working families in America need a break. That is why yesterday I introduced legislation to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 by 2011, and link the minimum wage to Congressional pay raises after that. The Standing with Minimum Wage Earners Act of 2007 is the first bill ever to call for a $9.50 minimum wage.

I was proud to work earlier this year with Senator Kennedy and other Democratic leaders to enact the first minimum wage increase in ten years. By lifting the minimum wage to $7.25, that effort will give 257,000 Iowans – 18% of all workers – a raise, and help another 94,000 children who live with these workers who will benefit from increased household income.

But these and other workers in Iowa and across the country should not have to wait another ten years to see another pay increase. My new legislation to lift the minimum wage to $9.50 will provide a direct raise to about 20 million working Americans. It would put extra money in the pockets of hundreds of thousands of Iowa families.

Going forward, this legislation would say to Congress: if you want to give yourself a raise, then working families get a raise as well. From 1997 to the beginning of 2007, Members of Congress raised their own salaries by $31,600, while refusing to raise the minimum wage even once. That is simply unacceptable.

Linking the minimum wage to Congressional salaries is a great way to ensure that working families continue to get ahead in our economy. The idea was inspired by a suggestion submitted to SinceSlicedBread.com, the Service Employees International Union’s contest that asked Americans for bold ideas to improve life for working families. As President, raising the minimum wage will be part of my comprehensive agenda to fight poverty and increase opportunity for working families, which will also include expanding the EITC, increasing childcare assistance, dramatically expanding job training programs, investing in education from birth through college, and lowering taxes for hard-working families.

TNS JF78JF-071222-1309275 18MASHJofrey

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