Democrat Terri Sewell Wages Battle Over Minimum Wage
One size fits all doesn’t work for shoes, Medicare, or dress sizes why should it work for minimum wage? That’s the argument of Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL), who along with 12 other Democrats introduced the Paying Hourly Americans Stronger Earnings (PHASE)-in $15 Wage Act. The bill would increase minimum wage around the country in phases based on cost of living as opposed to the universal base-line of $15. However, some Democrats aren’t pleased. It’s put her in direct conflict with progressive heavyweights such as Congresswoman Pramila Jaypal (D-WA) who told Politico, “We want to pass a full $15 minimum wage bill. Not a regional bill. We’re very clear about that.” But some Dems, especially those in red states and red districts think a flat $15 is unreasonable and is based on cities and states where the cost of living is much higher. "My friends talk about having to park their car and having to pay $35. My hometown of Selma, Alabama nobody is paying $35 to park their car a month, let alone for a day," Sewell said. She is adamant about the need for a wage hike in Alabama, which hasn’t seen an increase since the federal government set $7.25 as a minimum a decade ago. However, she believes gradual three-year wage increases based on Metropolitan statistical areas is a better way to go and that a flat $15 would be hard for some rural communities to absorb. More here.