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Press Release

On 13th Anniversary of $7.25 Minimum Wage, Patriotic Millionaires Demand Democrats Act

WASHINGTON -

Today, the United States marks thirteen years since Congress last raised the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour.

In response, Morris Pearl, the Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires and a former managing director at BlackRock, Inc., released the following statement:

“Today is a sad anniversary in the United States. For thirteen years now, Congress has failed to act to raise the $7.25 hourly federal minimum wage. Lawmakers have turned their backs on America’s tens of millions of low-wage workers and revealed themselves to be beholden to the short-sighted interests of some of their ultra-rich donors.

$7.25 was already inadequate back in 2009 when the minimum wage was last raised, but now it is downright deplorable. Since 2009, workers have endured the Great Recession, a worldwide pandemic, historic inflation, and massive changes in the cost of living. And what have they gotten in return? A minimum wage that is worth 27% less than its 2009 value, one that now isn’t enough to afford even a single-bedroom apartment in 93% of the country.

In the face of rapidly rising costs for American families, Congress must act to raise wages for the tens of millions of workers who are struggling just to get by. They must immediately raise the federal minimum wage to at least $15 an hour. Our country cannot afford to reach a 14th anniversary of $7.25.

If Congress can’t find the political will to do so, then the President must act. When President Biden came into office, he raised the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors to $15. Given the rising cost of living, he should now raise the minimum wage for federal contractors even higher, to no less than $20 an hour. This move will benefit hundreds of thousands of workers, prove to voters that Democrats care about working people, and provide a strong example to spur Congressional Democrats to action. The President is supposed to be the leader of our country - it’s time for Biden to lead on this critical issue.” 

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The Patriotic Millionaires is a group of high-net worth Americans who share a profound concern about the destabilizing level of inequality in America. Our work centers on the two things that matter most in a capitalist democracy: power and money. Our goal is to ensure that the country’s political economy is structured to meet the needs of regular Americans, rather than just millionaires. We focus on three “first” principles: a highly progressive tax system, a livable minimum wage, and equal political representation for all citizens.

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