Republicans Block Minimum Raise Increase

April 30, 2014

A bill to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour over a period of thirty months was defeated by Republican Senators. The bill needed 60 votes to pass, but fell 8 votes short.

Since 2009 the federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25.

Most of the members of the U.S. Congress are millionaires and do not have a clue what it is like to exist on minimum wage.

Minimum wage families work two and even three minimum wage jobs just to pay bills. One poverty level minimum wage job is equivalent to $15,080 a year.

I work part-time at an Orlando theme park on weekends with several other teachers who have part-time jobs. Most of my fellow co-workers are college-age young people who earn minimum wage or under $10 an hour. I listen to them talk about having to take the bus because they ran out of gas money; having to eat one meal a day for two days before pay day; having no cash for the movies or to go out to eat; having to take toilet paper from public bathrooms to bring home; using tubes of Ambesol gum numbing medicine because they cannot afford to go to the dentist and on and on.

The members of Congress who voted against raising the minimum wage do not have a clue. They also have hearts a few sizes too small.

What can you buy for $7.25? Not quite 2 gallons of gas, maybe a meal at a fast food restaurant or a couple of personal hygiene products. A person would have to spend half of a full week's wages to pay a $150 utility bill. Three weeks' salary could pay for a cheap studio apartment.

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, increasing the minimum wage would  "raise the wages of 16.5 million Americans and lift 900,000 of them out of poverty."

The Republican's argument that business owners cannot absorb the rate increase and 500,000 jobs would be eliminated is not based on fact. Twenty-three states currently have minimum wages that are higher than the federal rate. Hawaii raised the hourly minimum wage to $10.10. California's hourly minimum wage is $9.00, Oregon's is $9.10 Minnesota's will reach $9.50 in 2016, Connecticut's minimum wage will be $10.10 by 2017. Even Florida's minimum wage of $7.93 per hour is slightly higher than the federal rate.

In 2013 House Republicans voted unanimously to oppose a federal minimum wage increase. How stupid that Republicans from states where state minimum wage rates exceed the federal minimum wage voted against raising the federal minimum wage.

I wonder how many of the 16.5 million Americans who earn minimum wage will vote for a Republican in the next election?

2 comments:

capt said...

Hi Wendy,
While I agree with your comments on the minimum wage, on the other side of the coin, I was at the joint press conference and state dinner for Obama in Manila at the recent signing of the reaffirmation of the defense treating allowing an increased presence of US troops in the Phil.in sharing their presence with the Phil Military and increased training between the US and the Phil. armed forces.

Also increased AID and training on how to handle the natural disasters along with assistance with the aircraft and equipment needed.

During the pre-dinner 'toast, Obama stated he has directed his Finance Secretary to lead US manufactures to the Phil. to initiate investment in the Phil., thus will take more US jobs out of the US.

This along with his other push for controversial trade agreement for the Asian area.
He is meeting with opposition from some of these countries (and at home)
I have to admit I have not read this "new" trade agreement to fully understand what it entails, but many have said that this is along the same line that destroyed the garment industry.

I was unable to ask any questions at the press conference as they had chosen only a few people from the larger new media and fielded the questions first so that Obama and Pres. Aquino could have relevant answers ready.
Obama answers were double talk and inadequate. His people did not do a good job supplying answers for him in relation to the questions.
Also at the State dinner he praised his Filipina cook at the white house but had a problem with correct accent in pronouncing some of the Filipino dishes. Which only brought good fun chuckles.

Obama also got slammed by the news media and many Phl. Congress people the following days.
They had the US defense Secretary on many local news stations doing 'damage control for a few days after.

So many in both sides of the US legislatures need to be replaced.
Those "Tea Party" people on the whole are totally useless and have brought any progress to a standstill.(along with many others.
But by many predictions the Rep. are supposed to take control again. We shall see.
Without an immigration bill I do not see how when they are only focusing on Obamacare.

Wendy Doromal said...

Hi Captain

What a disappointment Obama has been in so many instances.

I have no trust or faith in the U.S. Government or the vast majority of the politicians, regardless of their affiliation. Most are so self-serving that I certainly do not trust them to serve the American people or the best interests of our country. We have a Congress where the vast majority of the members do not reflect the values or lifestyles of the majority of the people, so what can we expect? Big business and the wealthy own the country and determine who is elected. The majority of the citizens are not even truly represented. Just to run for office in the U.S. one has to be wealthy or supported by the wealthy. Unless there is some type of uprising, 60's-type major protests, or revolution what can change?