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Congress: Support a Minimum Wage Increase -- but Move Toward a Living Wage

Congress: Support a Minimum Wage Increase — but Move Toward a Living Wage

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July 26, 2013

Action Needed:

Please urge your senators and representatives to take leadership in getting minimum-wage bills out of committee and to a successful floor vote!

Take Action to increase wages for low-income workers — NOW is proud to stand with our allies this week as we shine a spotlight on the need for an increase in the minimum wage. Legislation that would modestly increase minimum and sub-minimum wages is stuck in both houses of Congress. In the Senate, the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 (S. 460) is buried in committee as is its House counterpart (H.R. 1010). A third bill, Working for Adequate Gains for Employment in Services Act (H.R. 650), which sets a new sub-minimum wage for tipped employees of at least $3.75 an hour initially, is not moving either.

Living wage is needed — NOW has long maintained that all workers should be entitled to a living wage (not just a minimum wage) — currently estimated to be about $12 to $15 per hour for most regions of the country — and although these bills don't go far enough, an increase in the minimum wage would provide relief to millions of workers, especially women. Two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women, as are two-thirds of the tipped work force. But conservative politicians, predictably, oppose any increases — no matter how slight — in the federal minimum wage and persistently turn a blind eye on desperately poor working families — disproportionately headed by women.

Get legislation to floor vote — This is a fight that must be waged in order to begin closing the enormous gap between the very rich and the approximately 48 million poor. The erosion of the middle class and enormous growth in poverty is a national disgrace. Please contact your senators and representatives right away. Use our formatted message below or write one of your own.

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