As voters, its important to know where a candidate stands on the issues. Today I’ll start a series of posts on Hillary Clinton’s stance on various issues that affect all Americans.
This week’s topic: Minimum wage. Should Congress raise it? Candidate Clinton says the following:
A higher minimum wage doesn’t just help those at the bottom of the pay scale, it has a ripple effect across the economy and helps millions of American workers afford basic necessities. As we work to raise the federal minimum wage, we will also support workers, states, and cities in their efforts to go above the federal floor when it makes sense to do so.
She supports raising the minimum wage because
It is particularly a woman’s issue. It is also a children’s issue and a family issue.
So what should the minimum wage be?
In 2005, Hillary co-sponsored an amendment (Senate Amendment 44) to raise the minimum wage to $7.25. The amendment did not pass the Senate. In 2007, the issue was once again brought before the Senate (H.R.2) and again she voted to increase the minimum wage. This time it passed, 94-3.
But simply raising the minimum wage, while still allowing the gap between rich and poor to grow, was not enough. In 2006, while she served as Senator from New York, Clinton said:
While minimum wage workers have not had a single raise, Congress has given itself $31,600 in pay raises. In the Senate, I’ve proposed blocking Congress from giving itself another raise until it lifts wages for workers.
In addition to her statement, Clinton attempted to put forth another bill, S.2725. In her remarks on this legislation, she said:
This legislation will raise the minimum wage over the next two years and link future increases in the minimum wage to Congressional raises… Congress has given itself eight annual pay raises. We can no longer stand by and regularly give ourselves a pay increase while denying a minimum wage increase to help the more than 7 million men and women working hard across this nation. At a time when working families are struggling to put food on the table, it’s critically important that we here in Washington do something. If Members of Congress need an annual cost of living adjustment, then certainly the lowest-paid members of our society do too… The reality is a full-time job that pays minimum wage just does not provide enough money to support a family today…. We have a responsibility to help families earn a living wage…. It is simply wrong to pay people a wage that they can barely live on. And it is shameful to continue to give ourselves raises as millions of American families struggle to survive. We should raise the Federal minimum wage so that working parents can lift their children out of poverty. It is past time to make this investment in our children and families.
Her position on the issue has always been clear: workers need to be able to live off what they are paid. This means raising the minimum wage.