President Biden reaffirmed his support for raising the federal minimum wage — gradually — to $15 an hour at CNN’s town hall on Tuesday.
While he acknowledged that increasing the wage could squeeze some employers, he pointed to economists and studies that say the impact would be minor. Plus, the President argued, it would help those stuck at the minimum wage, which has been $7.25 an hour since 2009.”No one should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty,” Biden said. “But it’s totally legitimate for small business owners to be concerned.
“The controversial measure, which was included in his $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal last month, is part of the package working its way through the House. The legislation, which could be voted on as soon as next week, calls for hiking the hourly wage in stages until it hits $15 in 2025.However, the effort is likely to encounter hurdles in the Senate, where two Democratic senators have already voiced opposition to it. That may ultimately doom the provision since Democrats can’t afford to lose any votes, assuming no Republicans support it. Democratic leaders are looking to pass the entire package through a procedure called reconciliation, which requires only a simple majority.
Nevertheless, independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, chair of the Senate Budget Committee, is committed to including it in the package.