Jul 25, 2022
In a statement on Monday marking 13 years since the federal minimum wage was last raised, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman challenged his ultra-millionaire Republican opponent, Mehmet Oz, to live on $7.25 an hour, which is also the hourly pay floor in Pennsylvania.
"Another year, still no change to our shitty $7.25 an hour minimum wage," said Fetterman, the Pennsylvania lieutenant governor whose populist campaign has attacked Oz as an out-of-touch carpetbagger running to serve the interests of wealthy elites and powerful corporations.
"He should be forced to live on $7.25 an hour so that he can demonstrate to all of us how it's possible."
Oz, a former celebrity television personality who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, boasts a net worth of over $100 million.
"My opponent Dr. Oz doesn't care about the people across Pennsylvania who are hurting, and he doesn't even believe that our embarrassingly low minimum wage needs to be increased," Fetterman declared. "So since Dr. Oz, who owns 11 homes around the world including several multimillion-dollar mansions, thinks that our minimum wage is a livable wage, then he should be forced to live on $7.25 an hour so that he can demonstrate to all of us how it's possible."
The federal minimum wage was raised from $5.15 to $7.25 on July 24, 2009 as part of a series of meager increases approved by Congress two years earlier. As Fetterman emphasized Monday, "because of inflation, the minimum wage today is worth 27% less than it was worth 13 years ago, and 40% less than 1968."
"People across Pennsylvania are hurting, they are struggling," he added.
Fetterman has vowed to support raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour if elected. Such a change would boost the pay of around 32 million workers across the United States, according to an analysis published last year by the Economic Policy Institute.
"It is way past time that we finally raised it to at least $15 an hour," Fetterman tweeted earlier this month. "All workers deserve the dignity of a living wage."
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