Pennsylvania Congressman Takes Proactive Step on Minimum Wage

Mar 07, 2014, 12:56 ET from Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Inspired by the executive action of President Obama and disappointed in the lack of willingness by House Republicans to bring minimum wage legislation to the floor—a bill that would boost the quality of life for some 17 million American workers—Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) has taken an aggressive step to move the issue from conversation to action. 

When business and organization leaders request a meeting with the Philadelphia lawmaker or his staff, they will now be asked to indicate whether they support and pay employees a livable wage. 

"Persistent poverty as a result of low wages is an injustice in the same vein as the exploitation of child labor and discriminatory hiring practices against women and minorities," Congressman Fattah said. "This is a moral responsibility; too many families are living in poverty because they don't make a livable wage. It's impossible to feed, clothe, and educate children on $7.25 per hour."

The updated scheduling form on Fattah's website now includes the following inquiries: 

  • Do your employees currently receive the suggested elevated $10.10 minimum wage?
  • If not, what is your plan to implement a higher wage and when will you implement the plan?

"While my colleagues on the other side of the aisle refuse to allow a vote on the issue, I can and will exercise a vote when it comes to prioritizing my meeting schedule and that of my staff," said Fattah. "Those requesting a meeting must understand that raising the minimum wage is an issue I am committed to.  They must also understand that their advocacy of higher wages is important as well."

"I came to Washington with the responsibility of making sure that my constituents enjoy a higher quality of life as a result of my being elected to Congress. Ensuring they make a decent living wage is a core part of that responsibility," he added.

House Democrats have launched a discharge petition—a procedural maneuver that requires 218 votes—to bring the minimum wage legislation to the House floor.  The bill, the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, calls for an increase in the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour, to be phased in over the next two years.  Congressman Fattah has signed the discharge petition.

SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah