Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000149 EndHTML:0000002540 StartFragment:0000000199 EndFragment:0000002506 StartSelection:0000000199 EndSelection:0000002506 The bill, which follows Pres. Obama’s call to raise the federal minimum wage in his State of the Union address, includes raise in tipped minimum wage championed by Rep. Edwards
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (MD-4) released the following statement today on the announced introduction of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representative George Miller’s (CA-11) Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013. The bill would increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10, in three steps of 95 cents, setting an adequate base before implementing automatic adjustments to keep pace with the rising cost of living. The legislation also includes a raise in the tipped minimum wage for the first time in 20 years, an issue championed by Congresswoman Edwards in the WAGES Act, H.R. 650, reintroduced in the 113tth Congress.
“I commend Senator Harkin and Representative Miller for introducing the Fair Minimum Wages Act. Congressional action is long overdue to tie an increase in the minimum wage to inflation that will help ensure working families do not continue to live in poverty. Since the last raise in the federal minimum wage five years ago, a dozen states around the county raised their minimum wage because when families can afford basic necessities it helps grow the economy. These efforts must be met with action at the federal level.
“I am grateful that Sen. Harkin and Rep. Miller included language I championed to raise the tipped minimum wage in this bill and going the extra, necessary step of pegging it to inflation. Since 1991, tipped workers have seen their wages frozen at $2.13 and are a reason why living standards continue to fall for this segment of our workforce. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Congress and workers all across the country to get this done.”
According to a 2009 report by the National Employment Law Project, the tipped minimum wage of $2.13 has lost 36% of its value in real terms since it was established in 1991. As a result, waitresses and waiters suffer three times the poverty rate compared to the overall workforce.