House Vote on 2019 Raise the Wage Act “A Historic Win For Everyone in Our Economy”
“It’s time for the Senate to act”
Washington, DC – This morning, the House voted to pass the 2019 Raise the Wage Act by a vote of 231-199. This crucial bill will gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, starting with an immediate increase to $8.55 an hour, and eventually phase out the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers, among other provisions. In response, members of the Patriotic Millionaires issued the following statements:
“As a CEO who raised our company’s minimum hourly wage from $7.25 to over $16 years ago, I know from experience how important the Raise the Wage Act is to restoring dignity to work. Paying employees enough to live on isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the right business decision. Investing in your team is one of the best financial decisions business leaders can make. Congress should invest in this country’s workforce by raising the minimum wage. As an employee in America no one should have to suffer to succeed at work,” said Patriotic Millionaire and CareCentrix, Inc. CEO John Driscoll.
“We think of America as the land of opportunity, that you can rise above the class of your family. When I was a boy, that was relatively true. But today it’s more difficult to change socioeconomic quintiles in America than in a dozen other industrialized Western countries. Passing the Raise the Wage Act is one way we can help millions of Americans get an economic flooring under their feet – something that we have taken out from them through inaction over the last four decades,” said Patriotic Millionaire George Zimmer, founder of Men’s Wearhouse and Generation Tux.
“Millions of hardworking Americans with families to feed rely on your tips to afford their basic living expenses. Allowing these individuals – many of them women and minorities – to live with uncertainty and a base pay of only $2.13 is almost comically villainous. Passing this bill is a momentous victory for the American people, but only if the Senate and Administration follow suit,” said Suzanne Nash, Patriotic Millionaire and lawyer.
“After almost a decade of Congressional inaction on the minimum wage, it’s about time that American workers got a raise. The House vote in support of the Raise the Wage Act is a monumental step forward for millions of low-wage workers, but the fight’s not over – it’s time for the Senate to act. And not just on behalf of workers; this bill is a historic win for everyone in our economy. Raising the minimum wage doesn’t just help low-wage workers who live in poverty despite working full-time jobs, it also helps wealthy business owners and investors like me. Our economy is built on consumer demand, and giving millions of consumers more money to spend leaves everyone better off,” said former BlackRock, Inc. managing director and Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires Morris Pearl.
“We are in a moment of moral discourse, in which demands for racial and economic justice have caught fire. This is the year to, once and for all, create fairness in our economy. If you work full time, you deserve the dignity of a living wage,” said Patriotic Millionaire Abigail Disney.
“In a country as rich as ours, we should not have millions of full-time workers leaning on government assistance. The blame for this rests almost entirely on the shoulders of greedy business owners who can only survive by paying poverty wages. It’s time that American workers got a raise, and that we start to address our horrifying levels of inequality. Business owners that pay their employees less than livable wages are requiring their employees to be uncompensated investors in their business. It just isn’t right!” said Stephen Prince, Vice-Chair of the Patriotic Millionaire and founder of National Business Products, Inc.
For further comments or questions, please contact Sam Quigley at [email protected]
About the Patriotic Millionaires
Proud “traitors to their class,” members of the Patriotic Millionaires are high-net worth Americans, business leaders, and investors who are united in their concern about the destabilizing concentration of wealth and power in America. The mission of The Patriotic Millionaires organization is to build a more stable, prosperous, and inclusive nation by promoting public policies based on the “first principles” of equal political representation, a guaranteed living wage for all working citizens, and a fair tax system. You can find out more at https://patrioticmillionaires.org/about/
The Patriotic Millionaires have appeared on hundreds of media outlets here and abroad, including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the PBS NewsHour, The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and many others. You can find more coverage at https://patrioticmillionaires.org/media