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Rep. Yarmuth Calls for Federal Minimum Wage Increase

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the House floor this afternoon, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) called for an increase in the federal minimum wage to help struggling families and grow our economy.

Yarmuth is a cosponsor of H.R. 1010, the Fair Minimum Wage Act, which would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour incrementally over three years. He also signed a discharge petition in February to force a vote on the bill in the House. To date, House Leadership has refused to allow a vote on federal minimum wage legislation. 

Click here to watch video of Congressman Yarmuth’s remarks.

Full text:

 

Madam Speaker, during the past 40 years, we have made tremendous progress in America – technologically, medically, socially, and – for many of our citizens – economically. But not if you’re a family trying to get by on the minimum wage.

In real value, today’s federal minimum wage is about 30 percent below the days when President Ford pardoned Richard Nixon and Cannonade won the Kentucky Derby.

As American productivity has surged, the economic status of the American worker has weakened – and along with it, the capacity of American consumers to continue driving our economy.

Even Walmart executives have admitted an obvious cause-and-effect: When their employees can’t afford to shop in their stores, their profits will suffer.

Madam Speaker, a fair minimum wage has the power to make work pay a little better, to give families a shot at a stronger future, and to grow our economy substantially.

It is a corrective to obscene corporate welfare whereby American taxpayers must support  low-wage workers when their employers don’t.

And it reaffirms the basic American idea that if you put in 40 hours a week, you should be able to put food on your family’s table every day.