Braley Joins Push to Force Minimum Wage Vote on House Floor

Feb 27, 2014 Issues: Economy and Jobs

Congressman tries to bring vote to restore the minimum wage through use of discharge petition

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) this week signed a petition designed to force a vote on the minimum wage in an effort to provide a raise to three hundred thousand hardworking Iowans.

“Restoring the minimum wage will mean a raise for 340,000 hardworking Iowans—strengthening our economy and communities across our state,” Braley said. “If this bill comes to the floor it will pass—this is just an effort to allow us to vote on a commonsense idea with overwhelming support.”

The discharge petition that Braley signed today would force House leadership to bring the Fair Minimum Wage Act to the House floor for an up or down vote.  This bill would gradually increase the federal minimum wage over three years from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour, would index future annual increases to inflation and is projected to boost consumer spending by putting nearly $35 billion in the pockets of hardworking American families. Generally, unless legislation has the support of House Speaker John Boehner it cannot be brought up for a vote—even if the overwhelming majority of members support it. This petition bypasses the need for Boehner’s support.

Braley recently released a report on the minimum wage showing that since 1968, Iowans making the minimum wage have seen their real incomes fall by more than 30 percent. This means a parent with one child working 40 hours a week at a minimum wage job is living in poverty. Today, about 25,000 Iowans work minimum wage jobs and another 21,000 work jobs paying below the minimum wage.

Braley’s report examines how the purchasing power of minimum wage earners have decreased dramatically over time, resulting in many minimum wage earners living in poverty despite working 40 hours a week. The report also illustrates that over time the gap between minimum wage earnings and earnings of the average worker has steadily grown.