Friday, January 19, 2007

Roskam votes against hard working Illinoisans Chides ultra-conservative Rep. Roskam for Vote Against Long Overdue Bill to Raise the Minimum Wage to $7.25/hr

Ultra-conservative Rep. Roskam voted against bipartisan legislation to boost earnings for nearly 13 million American workers and their families for the first time since 1997

Lomard, Il – As thousands of Illinois workers and their families celebrate the passage of legislation in the House to increase the minimum wage, the first step in an effort to increase the minimum wage for the first time since 1997, criticized U.S. Rep. Roskam today for his/her vote against H.R.2 – legislation to raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour over two years. The long overdue, bipartisan bill passed by a wide margin of 315-116 – including 82 Republicans -- Wednesday night in the U.S. House of Representatives without the support of Rep. Roskam. The minimum wage has not been increased in nearly a decade, making this the longest span without a minimum wage increase since the wage was first implemented. Adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage is at its lowest level in 50 years. In fact, workers earning the minimum wage will only make $10,712 over the next year, $4,367 under the poverty threshold for a family of three. Nearly 13 million people would likely benefit from the increase – 5.6 million directly and 7.4 million indirectly.

“All boats should rise with the tide – not just the yachts,” said Jeff Cruz, spokesperson for the Change America Now! campaign. “For far too long, ordinary hardworking Illini have been denied a livable wage, but the passage of this bill to raise the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour with such strong bipartisan unity is an extraordinarily positive step forward. It’s just disappointing that Rep. Roskam chose to stand on the side of the corporate specials interests instead of standing on the side of working families and supporting an increase in the minimum wage.

100 Hours: Raising the Minimum Wage

During the first 100 legislative hours of the 110th Congress, one of the bills that the House will consider is a bill that will help up to 13 million Americans and their families by increasing the minimum wage. The measure would increase the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour over two years.

Increasing the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour would bring a pay raise for up to 13 million Americans.

*Raising the minimum wage would provide an additional $4,400/year for a family of three, equaling 15 months of groceries, or over two years of health care – helping them to keep up with rising costs. [Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, August 2006; Consumer Expenditures Survey, 2003-2004]

*Nearly 13 million people would likely benefit from the increase – 5.6 million directly and 7.4 million indirectly. This includes 7.7 million women, 3.4 million parents, and 4.7 million people of color. [EPI, December 2006]

*It is wrong to have millions of Americans working full-time and year-round and still living in poverty. At $5.15 an hour, a full-time minimum wage worker brings home $10,712 a year –nearly $6,000 below the poverty level for a family of three.

*A minimum wage increase is particularly important at a time when America’s families have seen their real income drop by almost $1,300 since 2000, while the costs of health insurance, gasoline, home heating, and attending college have increased by almost $5,000 annually. [Government Reform, 9/21/06]

*The minimum wage has not increased in more than nine years – the longest period in the history of the law. During that time, Members of Congress have received a $31,600 pay raise. The real value of the minimum wage has plummeted to its lowest level in 51 years. [Economic Policy Institute, 6/06]

*An average CEO earns more before lunchtime in one day than a minimum wage worker earns all year. [EPI, 6/2706]

Increasing the minimum wage has broad bipartisan and popular support.

*Supported by 89 percent of the American public in a recent poll. [Newsweek poll,11/11/06] Another recent poll showed 72 percent of Republicans support the minimum wage increase. [Pew Research poll, 4/19/06]

*President stated he would “find common ground” with Congress on a minimum wage increase. [11/8/06]

*Voters in six states passed minimum-wage-increase ballot measures in November – including Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nevada and Ohio. [Washington Post, 11/19/06] As of January 1, 2007, twenty-eight states along with D.C. have a state minimum wage above the current federal level.

*Supported by a range of organizations, including labor (AFL-CIO, SEIU, AFSCME, UNITE, Steelworkers), religious (National Council of Churches, the Interfaith Alliance, U.S. Catholic Conference, Alliance of Baptists), and civil rights organizations (NAACP, MALDEF, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee).

* The minimum wage increase has the support of the majority in both the House and the Senate – with 64 House Republicans voting for a $7.25 per hour minimum wage under a vocational education bill in July 2006, and a majority of Senators, including eight Republican Senators, voting for the minimum wage increase in June 2006. [Vote #366, motion to instruct on S.250, 7/12/06; Vote #179, amendment to S.2766, 6/21/06]

1 comment:

goethean said...

Your 'if' statement didnt work.