House Passes ‘Wage Act’ to Raise Base Pay to $15

The House passed a bill last week to hike the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. The Democratic-held chamber passed the plan in a 231-199 vote. Six Democrats opposed it; three Republicans supported it.

The measure would gradually hike the U.S. pay floor to $15 by 2025, then index further hikes to median wage growth. It would also phase out lower minimum wage paid to tipped workers.

House Democrats view the legislation as a core piece of their agenda to boost pay and economic growth. As President Donald Trump runs for reelection in 2020, the party argues strong economic growth and a roaring stock market have not done enough to lift the workers who most need relief.

Congress last raised the federal minimum wage to $7.25 per hour about a decade ago. Now, 29 states and Washington, D.C., have higher pay floors than the U.S., while seven states have approved $15 per hour minimum wages.

The bill has little chance of becoming law before next November’s election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has no plans to bring the legislation up in his chamber. He told Fox Business Network that it would “depress the economy at a time of economic boom,” adding, “we’re not going to be doing that in the Senate.”

The White House also warned this week that Trump would veto the measure if it came to his desk.

In a statement, National Federation of Independent Business President and CEO Juanita Duggan called the bill a “devastating blow to small business.”

Source: CNBC