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Raise the Minimum Wage!

Today’s minimum wage hasn’t kept up with inflation, and too many working families still struggle to keep themselves out of poverty. The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour translates to an annual salary of $15,080—below the poverty line for a single parent with one child. It is nearly impossible for many families to make ends meet on the current minimum wage.

Urge your Members of Congress to support the Raise The Wage Act so that working Americans can break free from the cycle of poverty and the nation’s economy can grow stronger.

Background Information: Minimum Wage

The Raise The Wage Act (S.1150/H.R. 2150), introduced by Senator Patty Murray (WA) and Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, would raise the federal minimum wage to $12 by 2020 over a series of gradual increases. It would also index the minimum wage to inflation to maintain its value for low-wage workers and provide stability and predictability for employers.

The Raise The Wage Act would do more than restore the minimum wage’s historically high value from 1968, when adjusting it for inflation. In raising the minimum wage to $12 by 2020, the legislation would restore the minimum wage to about half of the average wage, where the federal minimum wage remained 40-50 years ago as the nation enjoyed strong growth and a low rate of unemployment.

The Raise the Wage Act would deliver long-overdue raises to more than 1 in 4 workers will receive this long overdue raise. Over 27% of the workers who will receive the raise are part of working families with children, and half of them have family incomes of under $40,000 a year. By putting more purchasing power into the pockets of millions of Americans, raising the minimum wage will not only help families make ends meet, it will also be a valuable economic stimulus.

Jewish Values and Fair Wages

We are told in Deuteronomy 15:11 that “there will never cease to be needy ones in your land, which is why I command you, open your hand to the poor and needy kinsman in your land.”  Though the Torah recognizes that we cannot necessarily eliminate all poverty, we are taught that we must work to alleviate its impact. In addition, the Torah also emphasizes the importance of a worker's wages. "You shall not abuse a needy and destitute laborer … but you must pay him his wages on the same day, for he is needy and urgently depends on it (Deuteronomy 24:14-15)." Making sure the poor and the worker are provided for is a responsibility for society as well as for the individual.

More Information

For more information about the minimum wage, contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Tyler Dratch at 202-387-2800.