Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter votes to increase the minimum wage

Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter voted today to raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to$7.25 per hour. The bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 315to 116.

Before the vote on the House floor, Shea-Porter spoke at a press conference held by the Committee on Education and Labor. Shea-Porter was recently appointed to the Committee, which oversees all matters relating to education and labor policy.

"It is my great honor and great joy to vote for the people in my district who have been making the minimum wage for 10 long years. As a former social worker, my heart is deeply invested in this bill. I ask those in the Senate to also recognize the hard-working Americans who have struggled and to reward them for their labor."

Under the new legislation, the minimum wage would increase to $7.25 an hour over roughly the next two years. Over 13 million American workers will be affected. Over 3.4 million of those are parents with children under the age of 18.

At the current rate of $5.15 an hour, a full-time minimum wage worker earns $10,712 per year -- nearly $6,000 below the poverty level for a family of three. The minimum wage has not increased in more than a decade.

Although some states have increased the minimum wage at the state level, the New Hampshire minimum wage is currently set at $5.15.

Democrats overwhelmingly supported the bill -- 233 voting for it and none voting against. The majority of Republicans voted against the legislation -- only 82 voted for it and 116 voted against.

According to a recent Newsweek poll, 89% of Americans support an increase in the minimum wage. [11/11/06]