CQ, July 23, 2008: Of Politics and the Minimum Wage

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By CQ Staff

These are difficult times for most folks, especially for those trying to make a living on the minimum wage. They could use some help, and on Thursday some help may arrive.

That۪s when the next jump in the federal minimum wage takes effect, increasing the current hourly rate from $5.85 to $6.55.

It۪s still not much, says Rep. Phil Hare, but a 70 cent increase could help workers with the basics like food and gas.

“I believe we need to go even further by indexing the minimum wage for inflation in the future. No one who works full time should live in poverty,” the Illinois Democrat said in a statement today noting the increase.

He also used the occasion to remind minimum wage workers, many of whom will more than likely be voting this fall, that it was the Democratic-controlled Congress that pushed through the increase last year.

“With this increase, I hope minimum wage workers will take some comfort in knowing that Democrats in Congress have and will continue to fight to raise their pay,” he said.

But even if they don۪t vote for Democrats, those workers can still count on another hourly pay increase on July 24 of next year. That۪s when the hourly rate will jump again from $6.55 to $7.25.

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