July 17, 2019

Rep. Watson Coleman Votes to Pass Raise the Wage Act, Increasing Pay for Up to 33 Million American Workers

Gradually increasing the minimum wage to $15 by 2025 will raise wages for nearly 33 million workers and lift 600,000 children out of poverty.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman voted to pass the Raise the Wage Act, landmark legislation to gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15 over six years. According to independent economic analysis, the bill would increase pay for up to 33 million American workers. 

The Raise the Wage Act is an important step toward delivering on House Democrats’ promise to restore the value of work and raise wages for American workers. 

“Earlier this year, Governor Murphy and the New Jersey Legislature passed a minimum wage raise that will boost the wages of over one million residents of the Garden State,” said Watson Coleman. “The bill we just passed in the House will raise the wages of nearly 33 million Americans for the first time in over 10 years. This is result of efforts by workers making their voice heard and demanding a fair wage.”

After more than 10 years without an increase in the federal minimum wage – the longest stretch in history – low-wage workers have suffered a 17 percent pay cut due to inflation. There is no place in America where a full-time worker making the federal minimum wage can afford the basic necessities for themselves and their families. 

According to the Congressional Budget Office’s review of a similar proposal the Raise the Wage Act would lift 1.3 million Americans out of poverty, including 600,000 children.

The Raise the Wage Act of 2019 would:

  • Gradually raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 over the next six years, lifting millions of workers out of poverty, stimulating local economies, and restoring the value of minimum wage;
  • Index future increases in the federal minimum wage to median wage growth to ensure the value of minimum wage does not once again erode over time;

Guarantee tipped workers, youth workers, and workers with disabilities are paid at least the full federal minimum wage by phasing out the subminimum wages that allow these workers to be paid below $7.25 an hour.