Did a Democratic Senator who represents you vote against raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour? If so, call them and tell them you’re unhappy with their vote.
We need to raise the federal minimum wage. It’s long overdue. Mandating $7.25 an hour is just laughable given the current cost of living.
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has long championed the issue. He and some of his colleagues tried to include the raise in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package currently under negotiation.
Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia takes a lot of crap for playing spoiler on progressive Democratic legislation. His first-term colleague from Arizona, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, has only recently started drawing notice for her conservative attitudes on certain bills. We at OTYCD have asked our readers in West Virginia and Arizona to stay on those Senators, and we’ll continue to do so.
But! The move to add a $15 minimum wage to the COVID-19 bill failed by a 58-42 vote. Seven Democrats and an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats joined all 50 Republicans in nixing the motion.
Yes, Manchin and Sinema were among the eight. But the other six should be called out as well.
We’re going to list all eight Senators who voted no. If they represent you, please call them and tell them you’re not happy that they declined to raise the federal minimum wage to $15.
The eight Senators who voted no along with the Republicans are:
Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire
Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire *
Jon Tester of Montana
Tom Carper of Delaware
Chris Coons of Delaware
Angus King of Maine, an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats
Joe Manchin of West Virginia
Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona
Hassan’s name has an asterisk to indicate that she’s up for re-election in 2022.
See the full list of all Senators, Democrat and Republican, who must defend their seats in two years:
That’s your task today. If you live in New Hampshire, Maine, Montana, Delaware, Arizona, or West Virginia, or have friends and family who do, call your Senators who voted no and nudge others to do so.
Find your Senators’ contact information, and help others find their Senators’ information, here:
Before calling, check your Senators’ websites and social media feeds to see what they’ve said about raising the federal minimum wage to $15, and what they’ve said about their “no” vote. It’s also worth reviewing this piece from The Hill on the eight who voted no. It contains relevant background and quotes from some of them:
Sample calling script, which you should feel free to rewrite:
“Hello Senator <Lastname,> I am <Firstname Lastname> from <town, state, zip code>. I’m calling because you voted against including a federal minimum wage raise in the COVID-19 relief package currently under discussion in the Senate.
I was disappointed in your vote. The federal minimum was last raised in 2009, and remains at $7.25 an hour–an amount that ensures that too many American workers remain in poverty. Lifting the federal minimum to $15 an hour by 2025 is not just overdue, it represents a compromise. A 2019 analysis from the Economic Policy Institute shows that those working full time at minimum wage during the last 10 years have seen the purchasing power of their money decline by 17 percent, or about $3,000 per year. Fulfilling the raise in four years rather than immediately is hard enough to accept without balking at the hourly number.
<Cites for the EPI analysis: https://www.epi.org/publication/congress-has-never-let-the-federal-minimum-wage-erode-for-this-long/>
I’ll understand if you objected because you didn’t want to enact the raise through the maneuver that Senator Bernie Sanders attempted in the context of the COVID-19 relief package. But the federal minimum needs to go up, way up, and that has to happen as soon as possible. Working people are being needlessly hurt by the lack of action. Moreover, the public wants to see the federal minimum wage raised. A Pew Research poll revealed that 67 percent of Americans want to set the wage at $15 an hour, and 41 percent of that group say they strongly favor an increase.
I am among the 67 percent. I implore you to take the next available opportunity to right this wrong.
Thank you for taking my call.”
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