House passes bill to raise federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025

An April 2016 protest in St. Louis calling for a $15 minimum wage.

Photo by Lawrence Bryant

A bill that would gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, July 18 and now heads to the U.S. Senate.

House Resolution 582, the Raise the Wage Act, would raise the hourly minimum wage immediately from $7.25 to $8.55, then to $9.85 a year later, and then raise it yearly after that, to $11.15, $12.45, $13.75 and finally $15.

“After more than a decade without an increase in the federal minimum wage, the longest stretch in U.S. history, there is no place in America today where a full-time worker earning the current federal minimum wage can afford the basics,” U.S. Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (D-Missouri), who co-sponsored the bill, said in a statement. 

According to the Congressional Budget Office’s review of a similar proposal, the bill would lift 1.3 million Americans, including 600,000 children, out of poverty.

Clay said it also would help secure fairness and equality for women, giving nearly 20 million working women a raise, and helping narrow the gender wage gap that disproportionately impacts women of color.

Clay stated, “I was proud to cosponsor the Raise the Wage Act because I know that raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour will restore a livable wage to millions across the nation and it will help lift over 677,000 of my fellow Missourians out of poverty.”

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