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Responding to Grassroots Labor Movement, Lawmakers Unveil $15 Minimum Wage Bill


Responding to Grassroots Labor Movement, Lawmakers Unveil $15 Minimum Wage Bill

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Answering the call from millions of underpaid American workers who for years have pounded the pavement demanding a living wage, progressive lawmakers on Thursday unveiled legislation in both the House and Senate that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, "reversing the growing trend of income inequality between the top and everybody else," as stated by Virginia Rep. Bobby Scott.


Why should we settle for the “bare minimum?” Warren Buffet and even conservative economists are calling for “big-time” increases in the Earned Income Tax Credit. Some progressives are pressing for a Universal Basic Income. Both would be at the expense of the richest Americans, not small business owners.

Forty years of stagnant wages, owing to loss of jobs to computers/automation and off-shoring, have made the top one percent fabulously rich, now taking home over 20 percent of our national income, or $3 trillion per year. It’s time to put much of that money in the hands of working Americans, who are now living in poverty or near to poverty.


“So, if you want to know why people all over this country are angry, why they are bitter, why they are disenchanted with their government, the truth is they are asking why it is that the people on top are doing fantastically well and yet their standard of living is going down,” Sanders added."

Some are bitter but they continue to support the one who blames Muslims, Mexicans, immigrants, Democrats, liberals, Obama, government, endangered species, the EPA, public education, regulations, evil, Net Neutrality, drugs, cannabis, your people, etc. for their misery, who promises he’ll make them rich and who gives most of their money to the Pentagon to save them from the boogeyman du jour.

“Resist” seems to mean “take it on the jaw but don’t change the corrupt representative system imposed by our oligarch forefathers”.

Direct Democracy


I want to know about those working skilled and trade jobs for 15$-18$ per hour? You are telling me they just have to live with it? I’m sorry, but it should be across the board wage hike our this will cause even more problems.

Idk why 15$…I think they determine the wage according to the poverty line.


The people are facing an uphill battle with the 1% and their reps in government. They won’t give up wage concessions without a fight, they never do. When I worked I was above minimum wage and since I was single I did OK. I could never of had a family on my wages, and remember I was above minimum, about 15-20% give or take. I never qualified for medical assistance, I made too much. At least during some health issues I worked for an employer that had insurance. I have always supported the fight for minimum wage increases as those were the people I worked with in my industry; food service, I was a cook. Some states have increased the wage, mine did after I had to stop working, NM. However there are many states that don’t have a minimum or that’s less the federal minimum and those are the ones that suffer. Write, email, scream at, your reps and senators and demand a working, living, wage.


" have to live with it ". No, that’s not how it would play out. It’s a floor, not a ceiling, especially if the yearly inflation adjustment is in a final bill.
Not to worry, though. Republicans passing this is a pipedream. Trump would veto it, too. No one in this Republican-led Congress would cross their owners.
Vote for public financing of all Federal elections. Then you’ll see real change, only then, though.




How about 2018, when so many of you will be re-applying for very well-paid gov’t jobs?

Factor in productivity gains and the minimum wage should be over $20 an hour, and you’re going to give the filth 7 more years to exploit their workers.

My, how very bold of you. Especially since inflation erodes that $15 over 7 years.

And Sanders supports this. I guess he really is a Democrat. As someone on Twitter said, Sanders is not Left. Sanders is where the Left starts. Hey, I’ve got a song for ya, Bernie Gladhander:




Even Jesus would support this. He certainly wouldn’t support the few who are “earning” so much money that their consciences should trouble them to sleeplessness knowing the plight of their lesser bretheren. Bear in mind ye, blessed with much in this world, that ye shall also die to face God. “I demand mercy, not sacrifice.” (Matthew 9:13)


Excellent question. Since the “Fight for $15” started several years ago, inflation has already eaten away at that. If we now move “incrementally” toward $15 by 2024, we lose even more. We should be demanding $20/hour NOW, not settling for $15/hour in seven years.

And that should be seen as a stop-gap measure, not “justice.” We need fundamental transformation of the economy, and we need to get rid of any billionaire class. We need to universalize and guarantee access to fundamentals like food, housing, and medical. And we need to institutionalize a fairly narrow range of income, and of wealth. NO ONE should be allowed to loot.


Unless it’s an immediate increase to $15/hr. it’s BS. It really should be more like $20/hr if you take inflation from 50 years ago into account. If your state allows it, use referendum to get $15 NOW on the ballot for the 2018 cycle to bring out the anti-Trump vote. No exceptions, no waiting period. Screw the corporate interests!


To emphasize your point, for the benefit of a couple of other commenters here, the reason it is $15 is because fast food workers organized and demanded $15. For five years, these workers - with no job security, no unions and some of the lowest wages in the US economy - have been willing to march, to walk off the job, and to organize themselves and ally with other low-wage workers in this fight. And they’ve won, in some states and locales.

So yeah, we could demand $20 or $25 or $30. But we have to be willing to do what they did. Power concedes nothing… we know the rest.


They could make it $40 and it would put everyone in the middle class. No more poor. Tax collections would increase as everyone would be in a high tax bracket, that would also decrease the deficit. Good times all around…


Fight for $15 makes perfect sense in municipalities because munis have limited strategy selection. Doing it through Congress is dumb though, because the federal government has no many better tools at it’s disposal. Increasing the EITC for lower wages would be far, far more effective.


I doubt there’s anything in this bill to bring Social Security Disability, retirement, and (horrors!), welfare:

I see more and more people HOMELESS,
and NAMI states that suicides are at an
all time high.
I get roughly the average Social Security benefit, but it is more than
My disabled roommate has been receiving the equivalent of $5.84 an
hour! And others have it even worse.
And politicians “don’t know” what to do
about homelessness and suicides.
How about paying people enough to pay for rent and food?
I called my “Democratic” “Representative”, was listened to for a few minutes by a flunky, politely brushed off, and never heard anything like " You’re right. I will get to work on this. NOTHING.
How many suicides will it take to reach them?
Maybe it has to happen right in front of them. But I think they are such soulless
sociopaths that that wouldn’t reach them either.
The answer is to take POWER, so we can lock up these “people”, who kill with
bayonets, bullets, bombs, computers
and fountain pens.
And I am sick of anyone who continues
to support ANY corporate party.
Stop wasting time trying to “take back”
the"Democratic", Orwellian-named party. It never was ours.
They know where the trap doors are.
You are on THEIR TURF. It’s been
tried many times before. Ain’t gonna
We need to build our OWN party. Let the reactionaries be divided into 2 or
more parties.
If the rest of us unite in ONE NON-CORPORATE party, we can start to win!
And forget deifying Bernie Sanders.
I used to like him, no more for the shill!
If shilling for Wall Street’s warmonger is OK with you, well maybe someone more open-minded would read “Bernie
Out of the Closet” at Counterpunch.
Let’s get a conscience and get serious.
www.gp.org Revolution continues.


This is an absolute crock! The 15 dollar minimum wage is already ten bucks too low if we are adjusting to the buying power at the high point of 2.50$ in 1964. What will be the buying power of the wage when it is fully implemented, whatever the hell That means. This is a typical neoliberal stall and not much else.
Right off the bat the arbitrary 15.00$ starts Now but only for calculating the eventual ceiling. Actual wages would be increased yearly by at least two dollars an hour until the goal point is met then a yearly adjustment based on the cost of basic commodities. Let’s give that a try.


Conservatives are a cabal of rich people convincing poor people to vote for rich people by telling the poor people that other poor people are the reason they’re poor.



As always, more half measures that will get absolutely nowhere.  Sorry to be the party pooper, but does anyone really think it has a snowflake in hell chance of becoming law??? I just hate how the democrats always grand stand, make nice  speeches and introduce bills they know damn well will get nowhere,and accomplish nothing.


Great, and Minimum social security payment equal to minimum wage. That would jump local economies across the country. Stenio’s would spend their checks locally and that helps all. Like food stamps which are the best stimulus according to government studies, tax cuts are the worst.


Of course you are right why stop at $15. The oligarchs of the world have bought up land and resources worldwide driving up the prices on all commodities, land, housing, energy, food and all of the basic needs.

The American Dream of home ownership and dignity of working has been bought up by oligarchs of the world and not only here in America. But we are the beacon for so many things??? Hardly could be called that for the last several decades.