Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey says hourly workers are facing high costs and flat wages, and they are wondering how they will ever get ahead.
Senator Casey says it’s the number one economic challenge facing the nation.
He has co-sponsored a bill that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour in annual increments over the next six years.
The legislation faces a tough road ahead in the Republican-controlled Senate, and it’s being met with equal skepticism by Republican lawmakers in the House.
Senator Casey says American hourly workers face an unbearable situation:
Wages are flat and the prices of life’s necessities keep rising.
“By some estimates, we live in a country where wages went up by 12 percent only. Twelve percent over 40 years,” said Senator Casey.
The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour since 2009.
Senator Casey says many low wage families are desperate, as costs climb for college tuition, health care, childcare, groceries, and more.
He says Congress must find a way to get wages up and drive costs down.
“We’re literally at the point where a generation of Americans are facing the prospect of making a hell of a lot less money in real dollar terms than their parents,” said Senator Casey.
Despite objections, a similar minimum wage bill in the Democrat-controlled House is gaining traction. It already has more than 100 co-sponsors.
Senator Casey says a federal wage increase hasn’t done in a decade or more at the federal level.
He says $7.25 is way too low, Congress must increase it to 15 dollars an hour.