in brief: women speak out in support of raising the minimum wage in the US
At a press conference on Thursday, 12 Democrat female Senators spoke up in favour of U.S. President Barack Obama’s State of the Union remarks about ‘income equality, in which he committed to issuing an Executive Order raising the minimum wage for new federal contractors to $10.10.’ The current minimum wage in America is $7.25.
The Senators are in support of the Minimum Wage Fairness Act, which would raise the minimum wage to a much more liveable level, and they support the Paycheck Fairness Act which seeks to close the wage gap by expanding on the 1963 Equal Pay Act. They are coming together because ‘it is time to raise the minimum wage in this country,’ said one of the Senators, Barbara Boxer.
Not only that, but the Senators are concerned about just how much the current minimum wage is affecting women. They all agree that ‘the minimum wage is indeed a women’s issue’ and have thus stood up with President Obama’s plan to increase the wage by 2016.
The Senators have big reasons to stand up for this increase because not only do they believe that America in general, as a huge consumerist culture, needs a higher minimum wage to stimulate the economy, but they are basing their ideas on the fact that ‘one third of all American women – 42 million – and the 28 million children who depend on them, are living on the brink of poverty.’
The press conference may be only the first step for these and other Senators who are passionate about improving the lives on millions of Americans. The vote for the Minimum Wage Fairness Act will take place in March and the women are prepared to urge ‘Congress to take up the stalled legislation and stand by America’s women and families.’ Republicans, who are against the Act ‘have to decide whether they are really going to block giving 15 million American women a raise,’ said Senator Patty Murray. She’s hopeful that her Republican colleagues will do ‘a little soul searching as they prepare for this vote.’