PBS NewsHour: Minimum Wage on the Rise?

This Week From the Hill By Allie Morris and Simone Pathe
PBS NewsHour, March 8, 2013 

$10.10 is the new $7.25. At least that's what Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., are hoping. At a packed press conference in the Dirksen Senate offices Tuesday, the pair proposed legislation that would raise the federal minimum wage up to $10.10 an hour, from the current minimum of $7.25, in three 95-cent increments. ...

Harkin said that a higher minimum wage will benefit the economy by putting more money in consumers' pockets. "With an increase in the minimum wage, workers have more money to spend, and guess what, they spend it locally not overseas. This is just basic economics, increased demand means increased economic activity," he said. "They will spend their money in their local economies giving a boost to main street."

Some 30 million workers in the United States would see their paychecks increase if the legislation passes, according to the Democrats' numbers, and more than half of those would be women.

Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce, praised the legislation at the press conference saying it would help small businesses, not hurt them. "Raising the minimum wage boosts the economy from the bottom up," said Dorfman. ...

"It needs to be increased," said Michael Jeffries, a resident of D.C. and one of handful from the group Our D.C. who came to support the legislation. "When I was working, supporting my family, I had a full time job and two part time jobs, just to keep the family going." ...

Cindy Huang contributed to this report.

Read more

Copyright 2013 MacNeil Lehrer Productions

Share +