President-elect Joe Biden said his upcoming COVID-19 relief proposal will include a plan to implement a $15 minimum wage across the nation, which would more than double the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
Biden, speaking about his proposal on Thursday, invoked the recently increased minimum wage in Florida in order to argue for a similar policy at the national level.
“People tell me that’s going to be hard to pass. Florida just passed it — as divided as that state is — they just passed it,” remarked Biden. “The rest of the country is ready to move as well. There should be a national minimum wage of $15 an hour.”
Although Florida is the eighth state to pass a $15 minimum wage, wages in the state won’t actually reach $15 an hour until 2026, the last year of a six-year incremental wage increase, according to National Public Radio.
Although Democrats have claimed they have a bold mandate in the aftermath of the 2020 general election, it’s not clear whether such a wage increase would actually pass.
Back in 2019, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocked a House-passed proposal to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, saying that such an increase would “kill jobs and depress the economy” in the midst of an economic boom.
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