Press Release

U.S. Rep. Castor Leads on Landmark Raise the Wage Act to Increase the Federal Minimum Wage

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Washington, July 18, 2019 | comments
Today, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) led her colleagues in passing the Raise the Wage Act, landmark legislation to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. According to independent economic analysis, the bill would increase pay for up to 33 million American workers including 129,600 neighbors in Tampa and Hillsborough County.
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Today, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) led her colleagues in passing the Raise the Wage Act, landmark legislation to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.  According to independent economic analysis, the bill would increase pay for up to 33 million American workers including 129,600 neighbors in Tampa and Hillsborough County.

The bill helps deliver on House Democrats’ promise to raise wages for American families.

“The Raise the Wage Act would help strengthen America’s middle class by increasing wages for up to 33 million American workers and generate $118 billion in total additional wages that can be invested in local economies,” said U.S. Rep. Castor.  “In Tampa and Hillsborough, my neighbors and their families and the small businesses where they shop will get a significant economic boost after the longest stretch in U.S. history without an increase.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, 129,600 workers and families in U.S Rep. Castor’s congressional district, which includes Tampa and parts of Hillsborough County, will benefit as their average annual earnings are projected to increase by $3,200 – and 71,100 of those 129,600 neighbors who will get a well-deserved boost are women.

“Women – and disproportionately women of color – make up close to two thirds of the country’s workforce in jobs that pay the federal minimum wage,” U.S. Rep. Castor continued.  “By raising the federal minimum wage, 23 million women across the nation, including 71,100 local mothers and daughters in Tampa and Hillsborough, will see their wages increase.  When women get a raise, we all benefit!”

In the more than 10 years without an increase in the federal minimum wage – the longest stretch in history – low-wage workers have also suffered a 17 percent pay cut due to inflation.  As Fran Marion, from Kansas City, Missouri told us today at our Raise the Wage press conference, this combination means there is virtually no place in America where a full time working mother making the federal minimum wage can afford the basic necessities for themselves and their families – let alone invest in the dreams of their children.

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, raising the minimum wage lifts 1.3 million Americans out of poverty, including 600,000 children.  The bill would index future increases in the federal minimum wage to median wage growth to ensure the value of minimum wage does not once again erode over time.  It would also guarantee tipped workers, youth workers and, importantly, workers with disabilities are paid at least the full federal minimum wage by phasing out the subminimum wages allowed without this bill.

“The Raise the Wage Act is good for all my neighbors and it is good for our economy,” U.S. Rep. Castor concluded.  “When we put money in the pockets of working men and women, local small businesses benefit because that’s where working families shop – our economy grows in a way that benefits all of us.  I am calling on my colleagues in the Senate to take up this important bill and help give so many Americans a raise and local small businesses a boost.”

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