Braley: The Only Thing Preventing 300,000 Iowans from Getting a Raise is a Vote PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kirsten Hartman   
Monday, 07 April 2014 08:27

Congressman predicts minimum wage bill could pass House, urges Speaker Boehner to allow a vote

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) who today wrote House Speaker John Boehner, urging him to bring legislation to the floor for a vote—predicted that there is enough support in the House to restore the minimum wage to $10.10.

“It’s one thing when the minimum wage isn’t restored because of a lack of support—it’s another when it doesn’t occur because it never gets a chance,” Braley said. “An extra dollar or two an hour is a life-changing amount to the 300,000 Iowans who would get a raise if this law passed.”

 

A vote on restoring the minimum wage is expected to come before the Senate in the next several weeks and has the support of the Obama administration.

“It is unacceptable that an American who works full time to provide for their family is still living in poverty,” Braley wrote.

Braley recently signed a ‘discharge petition’ designed to force a vote on the minimum wage in the U.S. House.

Braley also recently released a report on the minimum wage showing that since 1968, Iowans making the minimum wage have seen their real incomes fall by more than 30 percent. This means a parent with one child working 40 hours a week at a minimum wage job is living in poverty. Today, roughly 46,000 Iowans work jobs that pay at or below the minimum wage. Braley’s report indicated that over 300,000 Iowans would receive a raise if the minimum wage was raised to $10.10.

His report examines how the purchasing power of minimum wage earners has decreased dramatically over time, resulting in many minimum wage earners living in poverty despite working 40 hours a week. The report also illustrates that over time the gap has steadily grown between minimum wage earnings and earnings of the average worker.

A copy of Braley’s letter is available immediately below and HERE:

April 3, 2014

 

The Honorable John Boehner                       

Speaker                       

U.S. House of Representatives

H-232, U.S. Capitol

Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Speaker Boehner:

I urge you to hold a vote in the House to restore the minimum wage.  As you know, Congress has not voted to increase the minimum wage since 2007.  Congressional action is desperately needed to restore the minimum wage to its full purchasing power.

It is my belief that if this received a vote in the U.S. House it could successfully pass—making this another issue for which there is the kind of incomprehensible congressional gridlock that has frustrated so many of my constituents. Let the American people have their say, and bring the bill up for a vote.

In Iowa, there are approximately 46,000 people making at or below the minimum wage.  Nationwide, there are 3.6 million minimum wage earners.  Nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women.  Many of these minimum wage earners are living at or below the poverty line.  Today, a single parent who is a full time employee earning minimum wage is living below the poverty line. It is unacceptable that an American who works full time to provide for their family is still living in poverty.

Congress must act as soon as possible to raise minimum wage earners above the poverty line.  I’m asking that you hold a vote immediately to restore the minimum wage.  We can’t afford to wait any longer.  I stand ready to work in any way possible to make sure we raise the minimum wage.

Sincerely,

Bruce L. Braley

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