House Passes Bill That Would Raise Federal Minimum Wage To $15 Per Hour

Republicans in the Senate are not expected to pick up the bill, which was a priority of progressive Democrats.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) answers questions during a press conference.
Win McNamee / Getty Images

Republicans in the Senate are not expected to pick up the bill, which was a priority of progressive Democrats.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, which if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, would mark the first time that the federal minimum wage would see an increase in more than a decade.

According to CNN, though, the bill isn’t likely to be considered by the Republican-controlled Senate.

The bill, which has been a legislative priority for progressive Democrats, would incrementally raise the minimum wage from its current $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour between now and 2025, per The Washington Post.

The Raise The Wage Act, as it’s known, had been amended earlier in the week at the request of more moderate members of the Democratic Party, who requested a six-year phase-in of the increased wage opposed to the five-year phase-in more progressive party members had requested, per The Washington Post report.

Raising the minimum wage has been popular among the 2020 Democrat candidates for president.

Sen. Kamala Harris, who is currently polling in 4th place in the Democratic primary race, took to Twitter on Thursday to share her satisfaction with the House’s passage of the minimum wage bill.

“The House just voted to move forward with raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour,” Harris said. “It’s time we give Americans the raise they deserve. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to bring this bill to the Senate floor.”

Prior to the House’s passage of the bill, presidential candidate and Mayor Pete Buttigieg tweeted his support of the bill, explaining why he thought the passage was necessary.

According to The Washington Post, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will not take up the bill in the Senate, effectively killing hope the bill will be passed. Most Republican lawmakers opposed the minimum wage hike after a report from the Congressional Budget Office predicted the increase, which would be the first time the wage has seen a change since 2009, would result in the loss of some 1.3 million jobs.

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CNN reported Thursday that the U.S. Department of Commerce said they could compromise supporting some increase on the wage, however, a $15 increase was too high. White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow had said previously that the president would not support any increase on the minimum wage, per CNN.

Despite this, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi celebrated the House’s passage of the minimum wage raise, and she said the passage of the increase was about fairness for the American people, per The Washington Post.