House passes bill to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour
The House of Representatives approved the Raise the Wage Act Thursday, which would boost the federal minimum wage for the first time in a decade.
In a 231-199 vote along party lines, the House passed the legislation that would increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, more than double the current rate of $7.25. In an even more drastic increase, the bill calls for having the same minimum wage for tipped workers, raising it from $2.13 an hour.
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A report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted that approximately 30 million people would see higher earnings as a result of the bill, bringing more than one million out of poverty.
"America's workers deserve a raise," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at a press conference before the vote.
The bill is unlikely to become law, however, as it would still need to pass in the Senate, which is controlled by a Republican majority.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., also celebrated the bill's passing, which he said was the "right thing to do"
“It’s another good day in the House,” Hoyer tweeted after the bill passed. "House Dems are continuing to make progress #ForThePeople."
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The new rate would be phased in slowly, over a six-year period, and allows for increases to be put on hold if a study reveals that it results in negative impacts such as job losses. That same Congressional Budget Office report warned that between one million and three million people could lose jobs.
GOP Rep. Ronald Wright of Texas described the bill as "disastrous" during the debate on the House floor, warning that it would lead to increased unemployment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.