House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi reiterated her support for raising the minimum wage Friday, claiming a hike would pull millions out of poverty and grow the economy.
Raising the wage from $7.25 to $10.10 would “transform” the lives of 25 million Americans who would be lifted out of poverty, Pelosi said, and grow the economy by $22 billion.
“The American people deserve an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy and well-connected,” Pelosi said Friday, according to The Hill. “So urgent is this that I think we should come back [to Washington] before the elections.”
Pelosi and her congressional peers obviously will not be heading back to Washington before the midterm elections — Republicans have staunchly opposed an increase to the minimum wage and both parties are busy campaigning.
Conservatives have consistently argued against raising the wage on the grounds it would increase wages for some at the expense of jobs for others, and that increase would be negated by a corresponding increase in the prices of goods.
But Democrats maintain anyone working full-time should be able to live above the poverty line, and have blamed businesses for refusing to sacrifice a little bit of profit to pay workers a fair amount. President Obama has repeatedly pushed for the hike, using the slogan “It’s time to give America a raise.”
Twenty three states currently have a minimum wage above the federal rate, including Washington, Oregon, the District of Columbia and California, which all have a minimum wage at or above $9.
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