House votes to increase federal minimum wage to $15 per hour
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives, by a vote of 231 – 199, approved legislation today to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.
It’s the first time Congress has acted to increase the federal minimum wage in more than 10 years. The legislation approved today would increase the federal minimum wage gradually from its current rate of $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour by 2025. It would also establish a process, known as indexing, to tie the minimum wage to inflation and automatically adjust it each year starting in 2026.
“There’s no place in America where a full-time worker making $7.25 an hour can make ends meet,” said U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), who sponsored the bill. “Millions of hardworking families across this country are struggling to make ends meet, and this bill – which is long overdue – will finally give them the increase in pay that many of them desperately need.”
The last time Congress passed an increase to the federal minimum wage was in May 2007 when it raised the minimum wage to its current rate of $7.25 per hour. The current 10-year stretch without an increase to the federal minimum wage is the longest in U.S. history.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, the legislation would increase wages for 33 million American workers – including more than 119,000 in Colorado’s First Congressional District.
According to a study done by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the current living wage – which is the hourly wage that an individual must earn to support their family – for a single adult living in Denver County is $13.87 an hour.
Following is the schedule of annual increases to the federal minimum wage that would take place under the bill, followed by a chart from the Economic Policy Institute showing the affect that it would have on DeGette’s District:
Following is data from the Economic Policy Institute (available here) on how the bill would affect workers in Colorado’s 1st Congressional district: