Washington, DC—Today Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) voted for bipartisan legislation increasing the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour over two years. This increase will affect nearly 13 million American workers and their families.
“After dozens of attempts by House Democrats over the past nine years to raise the minimum wage, we have finally passed this egregiously overdue increase,” said Higgins. “There are 314,000 New Yorkers who will receive a pay raise with this increase in the federal minimum wage—not a moment too soon for our hard working families.”
H.R. 2 increases the federal minimum wage by $2.10 – from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour over two years. The bipartisan bill raises the minimum wage to $5.85 60 days after enactment; to $6.55 one year later; and to $7.25 one year after that. This would mean an additional $4,400 per year for a family of three, equaling 15 months of groceries, or over two years of health care – helping to keep up with rising costs.
Higgins continued, “From energy to health care to education, our cost of living has risen by $5,000 at the same time American families have seen their real income drop by almost $1,300 since 2000. It is shameful to have millions of Americans working full-time and year-round and still living in poverty. Raising the minimum wage is the first step to a stronger economy for all Americans, not just for the privileged few.”
This is the second piece of the new Democratic Majority’s 100 Hour Agenda. Yesterday Higgins voted to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission to defend the homeland from terrorism. Later this week House Democrats will pass legislation to expand stem cell research and require the federal government to negotiate lower prescription drug costs for seniors enrolled in the Medicare prescription drug program.