APPOINTMENT OF CONFEREES ON S. 250, VOCATIONAL AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION FOR THE FUTURE ACT -- (House of Representatives - July 12, 2006)
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Mr. BACA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to call for a vote on raising the minimum wages. I thank Mr. Miller for being an advocate on behalf of the poor, disadvantaged and trying to equate equality and job opportunities and wages.
I just heard from the leader on the other side talk about leave no child behind. But we want to make sure that no child is left behind, and that every child has an opportunity to progress and advance, and that means employment and an opportunity. When you
leave a child behind, that means that you have not given them the appropriate wages to go to school, to obtain wages to pay for the schools.
Right now we see in America today the cost of health has increased. Energy, college are rising. People can't even afford to buy homes. We have two or three or four or five different families that are working. We have individuals that have two or three different kinds of jobs. Why? Because the minimum wages have not increased.
It is time that we look at working families and provide them with that opportunity. Across America we need this minimum-wage increase. Don't complain about immigration and then refuse to pay the American families a living wage. The minimum wage is not only for teenagers in summer jobs or working families. It is for all Americans. Adults over the age of 20 make up the largest share of workers who would benefit from minimum wages increase, and many parents are with children under the age of 18. We are talking about under 18. Forty percent of minimum-wage workers are the sole breadwinners in their families. Too many working families in my district have had to turn to minimum-wage jobs after Norton was closed and Kaiser closed. And we don't have major industries such as some of our cities in the urban communities like us. We depend on those jobs that give them those kind, whether it is a McDonald's, whether it is a commercial store, whether it is an industrial store. It is important that they have those minimum wages increased because they also need to put food on the table.
In this country, in the United States, many people are starving right here. Yes, they are literally starving. They can't put food on the table. They can't afford to pay for their gas prices that continues to go up. You fill a tank of gas and it costs you anywhere between 50 to 60 to $75. We need to increase the minimum wages so therefore they can afford to buy gas, go to work and have something to provide for their families.
I ask that we support the minimum wage. It is time that we deal with the American people here in the United States and we take care of them. We owe it to them.
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