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Public Statements

Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 2, legislation that will fulfill our promise to America's working families by providing a long awaited increase in the federal minimum wage.

Passage of this bill today will increase the minimum wage for the first time in nearly a decade, from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour over 2 years. Inflation and increased demands on the wallets of American families have steadily chipped away at the purchasing power of our Nation's minimum wage earners, and the failure of the previous Congress to take action has left the federal minimum wage at its lowest value in more than half a century.

This legislation is critical at a time when America's families have seen their real income drop by almost $1,300 since 2000, while the costs of health insurance, gasoline, home heating, and attending college have increased by almost $5,000 annually. At the current level, a full-time minimum wage worker will make only $10,712 a year, nearly $6,000 below the poverty level for a family of three. While some States, such as Connecticut, have already taken action to raise their minimum wage, many more States still fall short of providing our hardest working Americans with the income they need to make ends meet.

In a Nation of abundant wealth and prosperity, we simply cannot be indifferent to the challenges faced by those struggling to make ends meet. This vote today sends the clear message that this Congress will be committed to America's working families. Passage of H.R. 2 is a critical step towards ensuring that every American is able to earn a real living wage.


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