House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday stated that she wants Congress to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.
Pelosi posited that since Wall Street is riding high, the middle-class needs to be rewarded with pay hikes:
This week, we saw something quite remarkable, the stock market soaring to record heights. At the same time, we see productivity keeping pace. But we don’t see income for America’s middle class rising. In fact, it’s been about the same as since the end of the Clinton years. If we are going to honor our commitment to the middle class, we have to reflect that intention in our public policy.
Pelosi asserted that wages have remained stationary while the housing bubble burst and caused a recession, thus hurting the middle class. She joined Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Rep. George Miller (D-CA) to press for a minimum wage hike that exceeds the increase sought by Barack Obama, which would have raised it to $9.
The last minimum-wage hike came in 2007, but it also included $5 billion in business tax breaks. While businesses are concerned that a minimum-wage hike would cripple hiring, the Harkin-Miller bill will most probably stall in the GOP-controlled House.
Pelosi isn’t concerned about businesses; she said, “When we increased it in 2007… it was the first time it had been increased in 11 years. It’s time for it to be increased again.”