Rashida Tlaib Says Federal Minimum Wage Should Be $20 per Hour, Not $15

While some lawmakers fight to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, Rashida Tlaib said that is not enough and it should be raised even higher. The freshman Democratic representative from Michigan said Sunday the minimum wage should be between $18 and $20 an hour.

The House last week voted, 231-199, to approve legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by the year 2025, according to The Hill.

Though some cities around the country have already adopted their own version of wages set at $15 an hour, the current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Those who work based on tips — like waiters, bartenders and others in service industries — have minimum wages set at $2.13 an hour.

Tlaib was in Detroit on Sunday to support One Fair Wage, a Michigan organization that looks to raise the minimum wage to $12 in 2022 for non-tipped workers and to $12 an hour in 2024 for tipped workers. The congresswoman said the federal minimum wage should be much greater, especially tipped workers making just $2.13 an hour now.

"Think about that for one minute," Tlaib said. "People cannot live on those kinds of wages. We can't allow people to be living off of tips and relying on tipped wages."

She said the current proposal of $15 an hour approved by last Thursday's vote should should have been a starting point in past years, and that now the number should be at least $18 an hour. She called out Republican political action committee America Rising during her visit.

"By the way, when we started it, it should have been $15. Now I think it should be $20," she said. "Make sure America Rising hears that. It should be $20 an hour. $18 to $20 an hour at this point."

Tlaib said the rising costs of goods in the country are why she believes wages should soar to coincide with it.

"They say all of this is going to raise the costs, but I can tell you milk has gone up. Eggs have gone up. Everything has gone up," Tlaib said. "The cost of food has gone up. The cost of a lot of a lot of things that we need has gone up already."

Most of the crowded field of 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls have stated they support a minimum wage of $15 per hour. Among those is Sen. Bernie Sanders, who faced a test late last week when his campaign staff complained they were not getting $15 an hour.

Sanders over the weekend said he would cut staff to raise wages up to at least $15 an hour for those who are not let go.

Should a similar wage law pass Congress and get signed into law, business leaders would most likely have to make the same decisions Sanders made.

Rashida Tlaib
U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) speaks at the opening plenary session of the NAACP 110th National Convention at COBO Center on July 22, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. The congresswoman, one of four freshmen members dubbed the "Squad," declared "I'm not going nowhere, not until I impeach this president." The convention runs through July 24. Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
Rashida Tlaib Says Federal Minimum Wage Should Be $20 per Hour, Not $15 | U.S.