Lawmakers in the House of Representatives on Thursday passed legislation that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. The measure faces dim prospects in the Republican-controlled Senate, however.
The Raise the Wage Act vote was approved 231-199, mostly along party lines. Approximately 1.7 million people earn at or below the $7.25-an-hour federal minimum wage, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That pay requirement has remained unchanged since 2009. The Congressional Budget Office released a study last week predicting that although the bill would mean pay hikes for 27 million people, it also would trim 1.3 million jobs.
House Democrats touted the legislation as a way to boost both pay and economic growth.
“I commend my colleagues for taking this important step towards creating an economy that works for everyone,” said Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), who introduced the legislation.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is not expected to address the measure. The White House has promised a veto if such a bill reaches the president’s desk.
“Economists don’t agree on much, but there’s broad recognition among these experts that a $15 minimum wage is a terrible idea.” said Michael Saltsman, managing director at the Employment Policies Institute, a conservative think tank.