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Rep. John Lewis Signs Discharge Petition to Raise Minimum Wage

February 28, 2014
Press Release

This week Rep. John Lewis joined his Democratic colleagues to sign a Discharge Petition to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.  If 218 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sign the petition, it would bring a minimum wage bill to the floor for a vote.  Speaker John Boehner has previously said he will not allow a vote on raising the minimum wage.

            A recent Think Progress report says that CEO salaries have risen 127 times faster than that of their workers in the past 30 years, while the wages of employees have remained flat or have fallen, if adjusted for inflation, during that time.   They report income inequality in America is approaching that of Pakistan and the Ivory Coast.

            According to a Bloomberg News economist, if a highly profitable business like WalMart passed the entire increase in the minimum wage along to the consumer, it would raise the price of DVDs by 1 cent, but it would help their employees significantly.  Raising the minimum wage would help over 25 million Americans live with more dignity and would lift 1 to 4.5 million out of poverty.

Rep. Lewis made these comments:

            "Corporations have seen record profits in the last 30 years, and some of that increase should be passed on to the workers who helped make that success possible.  People are working harder now than ever before but with more and more limited results.

            "Studies are showing that the face of homelessness is changing in America.  Homeless shelters are reporting more and more whole families--children with their parents--are being housed by the shelters.  And they are finding more people who work everyday go home to shelters at night because they do not make enough money to even rent a room.

            "This kind of poverty inside the wealthiest nation in the world is a disgrace.  The American people deserve much better.  That's why I joined my colleagues to sign the discharge petition."