Giving America a Raise: Merkley and Colleagues Introduce Legislation Calling for National Minimum Wage Increase

Washington, DC – Today, Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley joined Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the leading Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Senators from the Democratic Caucus to introduce new legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $12.00 by 2020. 

The Raise the Wage Act would gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $12.00 over the next five years and restore the value of hard work so more working families have the chance to get ahead. Raising wages for millions of low-wage workers would ensure we grow our economy from the middle out, not the top down. The bill also eliminates the outdated $2.13 tipped wage and prevents workers from falling through the cracks by indexing the minimum wage to median wage growth over time.

“There are too many working families in America struggling to afford basic needs like food on the table, mortgage or rent, and education for their children,” Merkley said. “We need a minimum wage Americans can actually live on.”

Raising the minimum wage to $12.00 would put more money in the pockets of consumers and give more than 28 million workers and countless American families a raise. 

States and companies across the country have taken steps to raise their minimum wage, but only action from Congress can raise the wage floor nationwide.