Patty Murray really ought to be the Senate Majority Leader after Reid leaves. She really gets things done!
WASHINGTON — Democrats in Congress are uniting around a proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour.
Within the next several days, Senator Patty Murray, the top Democrat on the Senate committee that deals with labor issues, plans to introduce a bill to increase the minimum wage, in steps, from its current level of $7.25 to $12 by 2020.
The measure has little chance of passing the Republican-controlled Congress in the near future, but it is the latest indication of Democrats’ rising ambitions for lifting the wage floor, an issue with considerable popular support in an era of increasing income inequality. The party is determined to elevate the issue in next year’s congressional and presidential elections.
Senator Murray’s forthcoming bill, and a companion measure by Representative Robert C. Scott in the House, have considerable support within the party, according to congressional aides. Among the 15 to 20 Democrats who already back the effort in the Senate are Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, and Charles E. Schumer of New York, his chosen successor.
“The politics, substance and morality coincide to make it a winner issue for us in 2016,” Senator Schumer said. “It appeals not just to the people who would benefit,” he added. “Polling data shows it appeals to middle-class people, people of high income.”