KENNEDY PRAISES PASSAGE OF FAIR MINIMUM WAGE ACT
Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy released the following statement on the passage of the Fair Minimum Wage Act:
"Today's vote was not a victory for a bill - it was a victory for the American people. The minimum wage is one of the great achievements of our democracy. It's a clear reflection of our values, and a solid cornerstone of the American dream. It's about the kind of country we want to be.
Americans want to live in a country where everyone has opportunity and the chance to succeed - where anyone who works hard and plays by the rules can build a better life for their family. By passing this bill, we have added dignity to the lives of millions of working families. 13 million Americans will see more in their paychecks for the first time in a decade. They will have more dollars to spend on the essentials of life, and more hours to spend with their families. Six million children will have better food, better health, and better opportunities for the future.
Americans understand fairness, and they know that this is unfair. After years of delay and inexcusable inaction by Congress, the American people finally declared enough is enough. They took the battle into their own hands, and launched a grassroots movement that spread across the nation like wildfire. They pounded their pavements. They prayed in their pews. And they went to the ballot box and held their elected officials accountable for failing to raise the minimum wage.
After 10 years of stalling and 9 days of debate, the time has finally come to vote on an increase in the minimum wage. We will finally have the opportunity to take one step closer to the kind of country we want to be - where no one who works for a living has to live in poverty. "