(June 8, 2012) Jesse Jackson, Jr. is leading a group of liberal Democrats who want minimum wage increased from $7.25 per hour to $10 per hour.
Jackson said he wants President Obama to make good on a campaign promise to raise the minimum wage, and is promoting the Catching Up to 1968 Act of 2012. According Jackson and others who support the bill, comparatively speaking, the increase to $10 per hour still wouldn’t equate to as much in today’s economy as what minimum wage was in 1968’s economy.
“I’m calling on President Barack Obama to honor his campaign commitment of 2008 to stand behind legislation that raises the minimum wage for the American people a little more than he requested in 2008 because the numbers and the economy reflect that $10 is not an unreasonable starting point,” Jackson said at a June 6 news conference.
Former presidential candidate Ralph Nader joined Jackson’s effort, saying the Democratic Party has lost its way on the issue.
“The minimum wage increase used to be the signatory dynamic of the traditional Democratic Party since they got it in 1938. That’s how decayed they are,” Nader told The Hill newspaper. “You’re fighting their desire to win the election up against their inherent caution and cowardliness to do anything other than raise more money and put more insipid ads on TV.”
Given that Republicans control the House, even Jackson’s supporters recognize that the chances of the bill coming to a vote are slim.
“I’m fairly certain that it won’t [come to a vote] under this Republican Congress,” Jackson’s spokesman Frank E. Watkins told The New York Times.