Economy

House approves $15 minimum wage, Senate prospects are dim

House approves $15 minimum wage, Senate prospects are dim

"While a vocal crowd is championing a $15 minimum wage, most Americans think there are more effective ways to fight poverty", said Elaine Parker of the Job Creators Network, which commissioned the poll. The wage protection covers millions of low-wage workers in all types of jobs. "We do need the guardrail of a higher minimum wage that helps Utah employees and protects jobs, however this legislation doesn't strike the right balance for Utah".

Some employers may offset the cost of a minimum-wage increase by cutting other benefits, said Caroline Brown, an attorney with Fisher Phillips in Atlanta.

The House action marks the first time that either the House or Senate has voted to end subminimum wage, advocates said. That same Congressional Budget Office report warned that between one million and three million people could lose jobs.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) predicted "all of America is going to be advantaged" by the bill.

The bill would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour.

Several moderate Democrats, especially those who represent districts carried by President Donald Trump and were concerned about job losses, were assured by an amendment that would require a study of the effects of the bill a few years in, leaving room to make adjustments if more jobs are lost than expected. In May, there were still 1.4 million more job openings than people unemployed.

But swift passage earlier this year ran into trouble when centrists and those Democrats from rural regions and Southern states raised concerns. Those same freshmen will face some of the toughest reelection races in 2020.

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They wanted the longer phase of six years instead of five.

"I've always been one to believe compromise is not a dirty word", Murphy said in an interview.

So, Democrats from the solidly blue states of California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and NY, and the cities of Washington, D.C. and Seattle face no political risks from supporting a $15 federal minimum wage. They also held the line against a Republican alternative.

McCarthy said the Democrats passed the bill to "deliver on an unpopular partisan pledge".

With his own version of the bill languishing in the Senate, Sanders called on McConnell to "bring my $15 an hour legislation to the floor for a vote as soon as possible".

Sara Jayaraman, president of the Restaurant Opportunities Center United, group founded with displaced workers from the World Trade Center after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, said boosting the tipped wages in particular, for waiters and other tipped workers, was a milestone. "Once you start raising workers' wages it's hard to go back".