Sen. Josh Hawley said he will propose legislation that would require companies with revenues of $1 billion or more to pay their employees $15 per hour, even if the federal minimum wage remains lower.

“For decades, the wages of everyday working Americans have remained stagnant, while monopoly corporations have consolidated industry after industry, securing record profits for CEOs and investment bankers,” Hawley said

“Mega-corporations can afford to pay their employees $15 an hour, and it’s long past time they do so, but this should not come at the expense of small businesses already struggling to make it.”

RELATED: Costco Raises Company Minimum Wage to $16

Hawley’s announcement comes after an advisor to the U.S. Senate said a minimum wage increase to $15 per hour cannot be included in the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill Democrats are trying to advance through Congress. 

Chuck Schumer said, “We are deeply disappointed in this decision,” in regards to being unable to include a $15 per hour minimum wage hike.

“We are not going to give up the fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 to help millions of struggling American workers and their families.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that “House Democrats believe that the minimum wage hike is necessary. Therefore, this provision will remain in the American Rescue Plan on the Floor tomorrow,” and, “Democrats in the House are determined to pursue every possible path in the Fight For 15.”

White House Press Sec. Jen Psaki said Biden “will work with leaders in Congress to determine the best path forward because no one in this country should work full time and live in poverty.”

Bernie Sanders also agreed with raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.

“Taxpayers should not subsidize starvation wages paid by the largest and most profitable corporations in America. We must raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. It’s morally right, and good for the economy,” Sanders said.

Mainly Republicans, with the exception of Josh Hawley, oppose the $15 minimum wage increase, claiming it would hurt businesses and cost jobs. They oppose the relief bill Democrats are proposing, claiming it’s too expensive and not targeted for the people that need help the most.

Democrats are trying to advance the relief bill through Congress under special rules that will let them bypass a Senate filibuster by Republicans.

South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said the COVID-relief bill “cannot be used as a vehicle to pass major legislative change — by either party — on a simple majority vote.”

Written ByLinn Win

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