In a move seen as a sign of the Democrats' continued shift leftward since the defeat of Hillary Clinton in the presidential election, nearly half the party's senators are backing revamped legislation introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., on Wednesday to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and index it to inflation, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
The bill would increase the minimum wage for the first time in a decade, boosting it to $9.25 immediately and incrementally raising it until it reaches $15 by 2024.
Although the bill has no chance of passing with Republicans controlling Congress, its 22 Democratic co-sponsors compares with only five co-sponsors the last time Sanders introduced such a bill two years ago, according to the Post.
One of those backing the bill who did not support the earlier version is Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who in 2015 said he was in favor of legislation increasing the minimum wage, but only to $12 an hour.
Democratic congressmen Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., are presenting a companion bill in the House, The Hill reported.
Critics have claimed such hikes in the minimum wage would result in employers firing workers. One such study released earlier this year by the American Action Forum concluded state minimum wage increases that are currently phasing-in will result in 383,000 job losses in 2017.
The study also concluded some $1.8 million jobs would be lost over the next several years once all the raises in minimum wage are completed.
However, the progressive Economic Policy Institute insists those studies are inaccurate, according to the Post, and are only used as a tool to continue to exploit low-wage workers.
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