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Foster Calls On Congress To Raise The Minimum Wage

Feb 26, 2014
Press Release
Signs Discharge Petition To Call For Immediate Vote

Washington, DC -- Today, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) joined Congressional Democrats in filing a discharge petition requesting an immediate vote to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

“As a businessman who started a high-tech firm that provides hundreds of good manufacturing jobs in the Midwest, I know the value in paying workers a living wage,” said Foster. “It doesn’t just help workers struggling to support their families, it supports economic growth.”

Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would raise wages for 16.5 million people, lifting thousands of Americans out of poverty.

“The American dream isn’t achievable when workers have to take two or three jobs just to earn a living wage,” added Foster. “We can and must do better.”

In Illinois, which has a minimum wage of $8.25 per hour, a full-time minimum wage worker makes approximately $16,600 a year, well below the federal poverty line of $19,790 for a family of three.

Businesses in Illinois face continuous competitive pressure from low-wage states.  A federal increase in the minimum wage would help level the playing field.

Foster signed the Bishop (NY) discharge petition to force consideration of H.R. 1010 – the Fair Minimum Wage Act.  A discharge petition is a mechanism to avoid leadership gridlock in Congress by requiring the House to consider the legislation once a majority of Members of Congress (218) have signed it. H.R. 1010 amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to increase the federal minimum wage for employees to $10.10 an hour over two years.  After three years, the minimum wage amount will be indexed to inflation.  Additionally, H.R. 1010 will increase the federal minimum wage for tipped employees to $3.00 an hour during the first year, while providing a formula for subsequent annual adjustments.