RAISE THE WAGE ACT

July 18, 2019
Floor Statements

Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

   Mr. Speaker, the idea behind the Federal minimum wage is simple: Hardworking Americans should be paid at least enough to provide for themselves and their families.

   After more than a decade with no increase in the minimum wage, the longest stretch since the minimum wage was established in 1938, it is no longer serving that purpose.

   Today, the Federal minimum wage is a poverty wage in every region of our Nation. Our Nation's workers deserve better.

   The Raise the Wage Act, H.R. 582, gradually increases the Federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. After 2025, this legislation indexes future increases to the minimum wage to increases in the median wage so that the value does not erode over time. It gradually phases out the subminimum wages to ensure that tipped workers, youth workers, and workers with disabilities are paid at least the full Federal minimum wage.

   The benefits of this legislation are significant and widespread. Economic analysis estimates that the Raise the Wage Act would increase wages for up to 33 million workers and lift 1.3 million Americans out of poverty.

   The Raise the Wage Act is not just good for workers. It is good for the economy. While the Republican tax bill gave the largest benefits to corporations and the wealthy, this bill puts money directly into the hands of workers, who will spend that money in their communities.

   Today is a historic day. For the first time in more than 12 years, the House is voting to restore the value of the Federal minimum wage and restore the value of work in America.

   Mr. Speaker, I ask all of my colleagues to support the Raise the Wage Act, and I reserve the balance of my time.