Hoyer: New Report Underscores Need to Increase the Minimum Wage

Stagnant Wages Make It Difficult for American Families to Meet Basic Needs

For Immediate Release:

July 20, 2006

Contact:Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after Rep. Barney Frank, the Ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, issued a new report  detailing the insufficient job growth and stagnant wages under the Bush Administration:

 "The report released today by Rep. Barney Frank and the Financial Services Committee Democrats shows what American families already know to be the case: the Republican economy is benefiting corporations and the wealthiest Americans, while leaving the rest of America behind.

 "President Bush and Washington Republicans say they just don't understand why Americans are pessimistic about the economy.  This report holds the answer.  It shows that while working Americans have been struggling to deal with the rising costs of gas, health care and college, the Republicans have been attending the Pollyanna School of Economics, touting GDP growth and record corporate profits even though working Americans' wages are stagnant.

 "As the report details, when inflation is taken into account, wages have not risen over the past three years.  At the same time, the minimum wage is now at its lowest level in 50 years and has not been increased in almost ten years. Americans value work and support increasing the minimum wage.  They disagree with the Washington Republicans who say that working Americans don't deserve a raise.

 "The time is well overdue for a straight up-or-down vote on a minimum wage increase that is not attached to 'poison pill' tax or labor provisions. It is an issue of fairness, an issue of values, and an issue of doing what's right."

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