U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) made the following statement following the passage of the Raise the Wage Act. The bill amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to increase the federal minimum wage from its present rate of $7.25 per hour.
"It is virtually impossible to support yourself and your family when you earn $7.25/hour," Rep. Cooper said. "I've met with and heard the stories of Metro Nashville school employees, fast-food workers, and others who go to work every day while they try to support their children. By raising the minimum wage, nearly 140,000 hard-working Middle Tennesseans will see a pay increase. It is long overdue."
The current minimum wage rate has been in place for a decade and has not kept up with the rising cost of living in cities nationwide. Gradually increasing the minimum wage to $15 will change the quality of life for families and individuals across America. It is projected that the bill could increase pay for up to 33 million people and will help 1.3 million people escape poverty.