The Democratic senator cited the growing gap between the wealthy and the working poor to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10 per hour.
Demonstrators in support of fast food workers protest outside a McDonald’s as they demand higher wages and the right to form a union without retaliation on July 29, 2013, in New York’s Union Square. (Photo by John Minchillo/AP)
Sen. Barbara Boxer of California wants the minimum wage to be raised to $10 per hour, she said Monday night.
“People are struggling. The difference between the very wealthy and the working poor has grown,” Boxer, a Democrat, said on The ED Show. “We raise that minimum wage and we move forward with the vision of this president that we have–which is everyone pays their fair share, we make investments where it matters–this is going to be a great century for us.”
The current minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, a rate that has been in effect since July 2009. President Obama has also called to increase the amount, including most recently during his speech at Knox College last month. The president said an increase to $9 an hour would be fairer for working families during his State of the Union speech.
“I think about $10. I think that would be right,” Boxer said.
Washington, D.C., and 20 states have a higher minimum wage than the federal level, including California at $8 per hour. Minimum-wage workers have staged multiple protests across the country this year asking for raises–many for a $15 minimum wage.
The White House continued to press its case for a higher minimum wage on the 75th anniversary of American implementation of a minimum federal wage.
“It’s time to raise the minimum wage and keep faith with the Fair Labor Standards Act,” Vice President Joe Biden said, referring to the 1938 legislation.
Democrats in the House and Senate earlier this year introduced the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, which would help raise the rate to $10.10 per hour and be tied to a rising cost of living.
But many Republicans, including Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and former vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, have voiced their opposition. A Pew Research Center poll found 50% of Republican citizens were in favor of a raise, whereas Democrats weighed in at 87%.