On Wed., April 30, the Senate voted on one of their most anticipated bills of the year: minimum wage. The proposed bill would gradually increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour.
The bill was voted down with a final vote count was 54 to 42.
“I am disappointed that the Senate failed to pass an increase in the minimum wage,” Senator Manchin said. “This bill would cut the number of Americans enrolled in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by more than 3 million and save taxpayers almost $4.6 billion. We can all agree that Americans who work hard and provide for themselves and their families should not live below the poverty line and deserve a raise. By increasing the national minimum wage, we would not only help West Virginians and Americans receive a fair shot at building better lives for their families, but we would also boost economic prosperity and create jobs.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour and has been so since July 24, 2009; a full-time minimum wage employee earns approximately $15,080 annually.
The national minimum wage has not been adjusted for cost of living since 2009. In comparison, Supplemental Security Income has been adjusted three times since 2009, an increase that equals 6.8 percent.
Although many in the Republican party think that America would suffer from a minimum wage raise, Senator Manchin is sure it would have a positive outcome, especially for West Virginians.
In fact, Manchin says that 700 new jobs would be created in W. Va. alone.
“This is not a Democrat or a Republican issue, this is an American issue,” he said. “We all would benefit from a minimum wage increase.”