Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed her support for raising the federal minimum wage to $15-an-hour during Thursday’s CNN Democratic presidential debate.
Hillary said she would “of course” sign a bill raising the federal minimum wage to $15-an-hour, and that she has “supported the fight for 15.”
She added, “But what I have also said, is that we’ve got to be smart about it, just the way Governor [Andrew] Cuomo (D) was here in New York. If you look at it, we moved more quickly to 15 in New York City, more deliberately toward 12, 12.50, upstate, then to 15. That is exactly my position, it’s a model for the nation. And that’s what I will do as president, go as quickly as possible to get to 15.”
After fellow candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) countered that Hillary was for a $12-an-hour minimum wage when the campaign began, and changed because “history has outpaced” her. Hillary responded, “I have said from the very beginning that I supported the fight for 15. I supported those on the front lines of the fight for — it happens to be true. I also — I supported the 15 effort in LA. I support it in Seattle. I supported it for the fast food workers in New York. The minimum wage at the national level right now is $7.25, right? We want to raise it higher than it ever has been, but we also have to recognize, some states, and some cities, will go higher, and I support that. I have taken my cue from the Democrats in the Senate, led by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), and others like my good friend [Sen.] Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who has said, we will set a national level of 12, and then urge any place that can go above it to go above it. Going from 7.25 to to 12 is a huge difference. … I want to get something done. And I think setting the goal to get to 12 is the way to go, encouraging others to get to 15, but of course, if we have a Democratic Congress, we will go to 15.”
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