Published: Wed, April 26, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

Bernie Sanders Pushes $15 Minimum Wage Bill, Backed By 21 Democrats

Bernie Sanders Pushes $15 Minimum Wage Bill, Backed By 21 Democrats

Even during the 2016 election, Nominee Hillary Clinton balked at the $15 hourly number, instead pushing for a raise in minimum wage in general, rather than specifically advocating for what Sanders' was arguing for. In 2014, then U.S. President Barack Obama tried and failed to persuade Congress to increase it to $10.10 an hour.

The Senate bill, the Raise the Wage Act of 2017, would start by increasing the minimum wage to $9.25 immediately, slowly rising to $15 in 2024, according to the Washington Post.

To Democrats' surprise, and occasional irritation, the size of the wage hike became a defining issue of the 2016 primaries.

He first said that he wanted to reintroduce the legislation on April 7 via Facebook. While some may grumble at having fast food workers paid such a reasonable rate, those asking for $15 an hour are merely asking that they be compensate a true living wage, rather than a rate that falls well below the poverty rate.

Democrats, however, have showed their support for the proposal, with plans for an accompanying bill in the House to be introduced by representatives Bobby Scott and Keith Ellison. According to the Economic Policy Institute, raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour will lift pay for almost one-third of American workers, some 41.5 million people. Wednesday morning, Sanders and some of his Democratic colleagues joined a rally of striking workers in front of the Capitol to raise support for the bill and the cause.

The "Fight for $15" movement began in November 2012 with the support of powerful labor unions like the Service Employees International Union.

The study also concluded that some $1.8 million jobs would be lost over the next several years once all the raises in minimum wage are completed. Just two years ago, Schumer resisted the $15 minimum wage proposal, instead co-sponsoring Murray's legislation for a $12 wage - "a victor issue for us", according to Schumer. Lawmakers and activists who oppose the legislation say that it could lead to employers hiring fewer members of staff.

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