A federal bill that would gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour across the United States passed in the House of Representatives Thursday, September 18, and now heads to the U.S. Senate.
The bill passed by a 231 to 199 vote that was largely split by party lines — only six Democratic representatives voted against it and only three Republicans voted in favor. Kansas Congressmen Roger Marshall, Ron Estes and Steve Watkins opposed, and Kansas Congresswoman Sharice Davids supported it.
The proposed legislation would bring the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 by 2025 through yearly steps. After that, the minimum wage would be indexed to national median wage increases. The Congressional Budget Office estimates it would result in pay raises for at least 17 million Americans and also cause a reduction of 1.3 million jobs.
The bill would also eliminate the lower minimum wage rate for tipped workers, which is currently $2.13 per hour, as well as sub-minimum wage certificates for workers with disabilities.
The regular minimum wage would increase by $1.10 each year starting 2019 until it reaches $15 per hour and about $2.50 per year for tipped workers until it equals the regular minimum wage in 2027. The minimum wage for disabled workers would reach $15 per hour by 2025 as well.
Kansas 1st District Congressman Marshall in a written statement called the legislation radical and says it would “crush the Kansas economy and eliminate more than 28,000 jobs.
“Raising the minimum wage has a proven record of killing jobs, and the first to go are usually those held by lower-income individuals,” Marshall writes. “Republicans acted last Congress to pass major tax relief, and the economy is humming because of it.”