Mar 05 2021
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the following statement after voting for an amendment to include an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 in the final reconciliation bill. The vote failed, 42-58.
“It is past time that Congress acts to raise the minimum wage. This is the longest we’ve ever gone without raising the minimum wage since it was created, and $7.25 an hour isn’t a living wage in the year 2021. We need to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Though for procedural reasons the minimum wage increase will not be part of the reconciliation package, I voted for this amendment to underscore my belief that raising the minimum wage must remain a top congressional priority. No one who works full time in this country should be living in poverty.
“As the debate moves forward on the minimum wage, I recognize that there will need to be compromises in order to achieve the votes necessary to pass. These may include a longer phase-in period, given the concerns that have been raised about the impact of implementing this policy during the ongoing public health emergency and while many small businesses are still dealing with the economic effects of the pandemic. I also have heard from workers in the hospitality industry who are very concerned about the unintended consequences of a dramatic increase in the tipped wage. I intend to work with my colleagues to address these issues and ensure that we can give hard-working Americans a long-overdue raise.”
Sen. Warner is a co-sponsor of the Raise the Wage Act of 2021, which would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025.