Question: Should Congress and the President pass legislation to raise the federal minimum wage of American workers?
NEW: Congressional Budget Office Report on Raising the Minimum Wage (Full Video)
Employees at stores and fast food restaurants such as Walgreens, Wendy's, Sears, and McDonald's went on strike in early December of 2013 expressing frustration over the minimum wage. Their argument is that the minimum wage is not high enough to cover basic costs of living in this country. Cities across the United States, like Chicago, Detroit, Boston, Los Angeles, St. Louis, and New York, all saw hundreds of employees from such industries displaying frustrations by picketing and striking.
The federal minimum wage was raised to $7.25 (roughly $15,000 annually) in 2009, by Congress. Some workers receiving minimum wage are demanding it be raised to $15 dollars and hour. A number of Congressional members are proposing the wage be raised to $10.10 while opponents of raising the minimum wage are concerned it will result in employee layoffs and increased costs to consumers to offset paying for increased wages.
Learn about the positions of Senators, House members, and the President by watching C-SPAN videos, reading related articles, and using our lesson plan on the issues surrounding raising the minimum wage. Then participate in a “Deliberation” in your classroom regarding the possible actions Congress and the President could take.
by Jonathan Grossman
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