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$15 an hour minimum wage: Biden pushes for urgent increase amid COVID-19 pandemic

January 23, 2021 5:08 pm

During his announcement of the “American Rescue Plan,” President-elect Joe Biden pushed for the minimum wage in the United States to be raised to at least $15 an hour.

After laying out his plans to provide supplemental funding for unemployed families as well as relief for small businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the president-elect said that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would help lift millions of Americans out of poverty.

“Direct cash payments, extended unemployment insurance, rent relief, food assistance, keeping essential frontline workers on the job, aid to small businesses: These are the key elements to the American Rescue Plan that will lift 12 million Americans out of poverty and cut child poverty in half,” Biden said during his Thursday speech.

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“That’s 5 million children lifted out of poverty if we move. Our plan will reduce poverty in the Black community by one third, reduce poverty in the Hispanic community by almost 40%. And includes much more, like an increase in the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour,” Biden said. “People tell me that’s going to be hard to pay. Florida just passed it, as divided as that state is, they just passed it. The rest of the country is ready to move as well.”

Biden stressed that no person working 40 hours a week should be living “below the poverty line.”

“That’s what it means, if you work for less than $15 an hour and work 40 hours a week, you’re living in poverty,” he said.

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