The U.S. House of Representatives has voted 231-199 to pass H.R. 582, the Raise The Wage Act, which increases the federal minimum wage to $15/hr over the next 6 years.
The vote came down along political party lines with 6 Democrats voting against the measure, while only 3 Republicans, including Florida Rep. Francis Rooney, voted in favor of it.
According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the legislation would more than double the federal minimum wage and raise the pay to some 27 million workers. In addition, 1.3 million would be taken of the poverty rolls, but leave another 1.3 million Americans jobless.
The business community has already expressed their concern and opposition to the bill, saying that small businesses will struggle, and many will fail, as a result of the pay increase.
Florida’s entire Democratic congressional caucus, which cosponsored the bill along with other national Democrats like Reps. Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, voted in favor of the pay hike.
Freshman Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell may have inadvertently made the Republican case for why tax cuts benefit the local economies in her remarks about the passage of the bill.
“I’ve talked with workers in our community and small business-owners and we all agree: our economy in South Florida will thrive once every worker is making a fair, livable wage,” said Mucarsel-Powell “When we put money in peoples’ pockets instead of corporations, that money will be spent locally and help grow South Florida’s economy,”
Republicans have contended that by cutting taxes, Americans will have more money in their pockets to spend, and when they spend their money, more of that revenue gets injected into the economy.
Mucarsel-Powell also cited the CBO report’s findings that 1.3 million Americans “would be lifted out of poverty, but failed to mention the 1.3 million that would lose their jobs, as reported by the USA Today.
Here is what the DMP press release reads:
If the Raise The Wage Act were to be signed into law:
- Wages for up to 33 million American workers would be increased, including 152,300 people in Florida’s 26th congressional district, according to independent economic analysis from the Economic Policy Institute;
- 3 million Americans, including 600,000 children, could be lifted out of poverty according to the CBO’s review of a similar proposal; and;
- Women would be closer to paycheck fairness, giving nearly 20 million working women a raise, and helping narrow the gender wage gap that disproportionately impacts Latinas and women of color.
Florida’s Democratic congressional caucus consists of : Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Donna Shalala (both pictured), Ted Deutch, Val Demings, Stephanie Murphy, Al Lawson, Alcee Hastings, Kathy Castor, Charlie Crist, Frederica Wilson, Darren Soto, Lois Frankel, and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.