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Public Statements

Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


FAIR MINIMUM WAGE ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - January 10, 2007)

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Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman. He has put together legislation that should be commended. It is the right thing, the fair thing to do to vote for this legislation today. The Congress will finally take care of our working class brothers and sisters.

I must say, though, that the gentlewoman from Tennessee and the gentleman from Idaho had better get their economics straight. In their logic, we should reduce the minimum wage so we will produce more jobs. If that makes any sense, you are really off the reservation.

My friends, this is an opportunity for us to put aside politics and get to the heart of the issue. At $5.15 an hour, a full-time minimum wage worker brings home $10,712. How could anyone live on that sum in this day and age? We all know that, since 2000, the costs of health insurance and gasoline and home heating and attending college have skyrocketed to the tune of almost $5,000 annually. Clearly an untenable situation for American workers. And just this week Northeastern University put out this report, an increase of productivity for the American worker of 17 percent and an increase in wages of 1 percent.

The little guy is going to get help from this Congress, and you had better get that straight, to all of the folks on both sides of the aisle. The little guy is not going to be forgotten any longer.

This is an important piece of legislation. Raising the minimum wage today will provide an additional $4,400 a year for a family of three, equaling 15 months of groceries. That is good enough for me.

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