Congressman Al Green Introduces the Original Living American Wage Act of 2015

Jan 6, 2015

(Washington, DC)--On January 6, 2015, Congressman Al Green (TX-09) introduced H.R. 122, the Original Living American Wage (LAW) Act of 2015. The Original LAW Act would link the minimum wage to fifteen percent over the federal poverty threshold for a family of four ($23,850) and increases the minimum wage automatically every four years to ensure that inflation does not erode its purchasing power. Under current poverty guidelines, this legislation would cause the national minimum wage to be increased from $7.25 to approximately $13.00.

 “A living wage job is the poverty prevention program that makes dollars and sense,” Congressman Al Green said. “We have approximately 47 million Americans living in poverty, separated from the opportunities of this country because they lack a living wage  A full-time, minimum-wage worker caring for a family of four earns $7.25 an hour ($15,080 a year), well below the federal poverty threshold of $23,850 for a family of four,” Congressman Al Green said.  “This means that a full-time, minimum-wage worker cannot support their family above the poverty threshold without some assistance.” 

 According to an October 2013 U.C. Berkeley Labor Center study: “The cost of public assistance to families in the fast-food industry alone is about $7 billion a year. The study further concluded that 63% of public-benefits spending goes to families with a working member.”

“The Original Living American Wage (LAW) Act should accelerate the growth of our economy and provide greater opportunity as well as prosperity for all Americans, not just the privileged few,” Congressman Al Green said. “Unfortunately, many Americans are working full-time and living below the poverty line. It is time to ‘Raise the Wage.’”