Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi. Mr. Speaker, I rise today as the voice of 184,995 workers in my state that will be positively affected by the minimum wage increase--nearly 20% of my state's total workforce.
Families and parents are struggling financially because we have failed to keep up with the rising costs of living.
The Economic Policy Institute found that ``at the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, a parent who works full time, year round, [still] does not earn enough to be above the federal poverty line.''
For these Americans, working hard year round will not be a gateway to gradual success, because in their realities, it does not even mean that you will be above the federal poverty line.
For these parents, our very own constituents, the pursuit of happiness, the American dream, and ultimately being able to mobilize economically is but a faint light forever out of reach.
In 2009, we raised the minimum wage in order to keep up with the rising costs of living thereby admitting that an irresponsible minimum wage causes financial hardship for the families that we are elected to represent.
People, we have a track record for making the impossible possible for Americans, so, now, I speak on behalf of those families in need when I say that we have a responsibility as public servants to see to it that a parent who works full time, year round, can live above the poverty line.
It is our moral obligation to see to it that our families earning minimum wage can have the means to economic mobility. Thus, we as legislators should rise to this challenge in order to ensure that all Americans have not only the opportunity to pursue their happiness--but that they also have the means to achieving success.