REPUBLICANS STALL BILL THAT WOULD BOOST SALARIES -- (House of Representatives - June 21, 2006)
Mr. FILNER. Mr. Speaker, workers across this Nation are increasingly being asked to do more with less. As prices rise at the gas pump, at pharmacies, on college loans, the millions of Americans who work full-time and make minimum wage are slipping further and further into poverty.
The minimum wage in this country has not been raised since 1997 and is now at its lowest level in 50 years, when adjusted for inflation. Making only $5.15 an hour, a full-time, minimum wage employee will earn only $10,700 annually. This is far from enough to make ends meet, especially for the 75 percent or so who are responsible for at least half of their family's income. Raising children on a middle-class income is hard enough. Imagine trying to do it on less than a third of that.
Mr. Speaker, Democrats believe that the minimum wage should be a living wage. No American who works full-time, all year, should live in poverty, unable to support their family. Last week at the committee level, Democrats were successful in inserting a minimum wage increase into an appropriations bill. But now, the Republican leadership says they will not permit a vote on the minimum wage. They will not permit a vote in this full House.
It is time for real action to move hardworking Americans out of poverty. Seven million Americans deserve a raise today.