Democrats in Congress are pushing ahead with a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package, which many of them hope will include a provision that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
“In America you know that you cannot have shelter, food, and any semblance of a quality of life on $7 an hour, on $9 an hour.” — Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI-14)
President Joe Biden has said he doesn’t expect the provision to make it into the final version of the legislation. But many Democrats in Congress strongly support the measure.
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Rep. Brenda Lawrence is a Democrat from Southfield representing Michigan’s 14th District. She says she supports raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
“In America you know that you cannot have shelter, food, and any semblance of a quality of life on $7 an hour, on $9 an hour. You know that. Do that math,” says Lawrence. “The reality is (a $15 minimum wage) will help our economy, it will take people off of social programs, it will allow a mother to feed her family without asking for WIC, without asking for food subsidies like we used to call food stamps. If we can take people off of those subsidies and thus spending our federal tax dollars — feeding children at schools because that’s the only good meal they get — we will then have more income in our budget…to take care of our country.”
Lawrence stresses that the minimum wage increase would be phased in, not implemented all at once during a pandemic that has devastated the economy.
Regarding the lack of Republican support for this round of COVID relief, she says “Let’s bring Republicans to the microphone and let them explain why they won’t help the American people.”