Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) today signed a discharge petition in an effort to force an up-or-down vote on legislation he's cosponsored, H.R. 1010, the Fair Minimum Wage Act, that would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 and give at least 25 million Americans a pay raise. If the discharge petition garners 218 signatures -- a majority of the House -- it would require the House hold an immediate vote on the legislation.
"In America, the richest country in the world, no one who works full time should have to raise their family in poverty," Congressman Kildee said. "Economists and the American people agree: a higher minimum wage is good for our economy, our workers, and our long-term growth. I hope my Republican colleagues sign the discharge petition with me and vote to support a living wage for Michigan's families."
H.R. 1010, which was one of the first bills Congressman Kildee cosponsored last year in March, would increase the minimum wage over three years from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour, index future annual increases to inflation thereafter, and gradually increase the tipped minimum wage to 70 percent of the minimum wage.
A recent Quinnipiac University poll found 71 percent of Americans in favor of raising the minimum wage. However, Speaker of the House John Boehner (OH-8) and House Republicans have failed to schedule a single hearing, mark-up or vote on the bill.
The current minimum wage pays only $14,500 per year, and passing H.R. 1010 would lift between 1 million and 4.5 million Americans out of poverty. The average American worker earning the minimum wage is 35 years old, and the majority of them are women.
"The real value of today's wages buys less than it did in 1956. While inflation and the cost-of-living has increased, wages have stagnated," Congressman Kildee said. "It's time to give hardworking Michiganders a raise."
Increasing the minimum wage would also help all Americans by growing our economy and creating jobs, generating some $22 billion in increased economic activity and creating 85,000 additional jobs nationwide.