Congressman Donald Norcross

Representing the 1st District of New Jersey
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First Vote to Raise Federal Minimum Wage in Over a Decade Passes; Norcross Votes YES After Years Pushing for Action

Mar 6, 2019
News Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross – a former minimum-wage worker – voted in favor of the Raise the Wage Act, of which he is a lead sponsor, in the House Committee on Education and Labor. This marked the first vote in more than a decade to raise the federal minimum wage.

Finally. That’s the only word to describe what is happening in the House of Representatives. We have finally voted for the first time in more than a decade to lift fulltime working Americans out of poverty,” said Congressman Norcross, an electrician by trade. “I’ve worked for minimum wage and I was once a young single dad raising my son and having to balance work, family life and a checkbook. Back then it was hard. Today, for far too many Americans, it's nearly impossible. When people finally receive $15 an hour, they’ll spend more, become less reliant on government assistance and give our economy a needed boost.”

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Speaker Craig Coughlin joined Norcross for their first public appearance together in November 2017 calling for a $15 an hour minimum wage. Now, that promise has become a reality in the state. Additionally, when Norcross was a member of the New Jersey state legislature, he was part of the successful fight to raise the minimum wage in New Jersey.

Video: Ahead of the vote, Norcross urged colleagues to vote in favor of the Raise the Wage Act.

Norcross added: “Today, we rightfully took the first step in moving the Raise the Wage Act forward – and we need to keep the momentum going until we get to the finish line. My colleagues in Washington need to wake up, follow my home state’s lead and raise the wage.”

The Raise the Wage Act:

  • Gradually raises the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour over the next six years to lift millions of workers out of poverty, stimulate local economies and restore the value of minimum wage, and
  • Indexes future increases in the federal minimum wage to median wage to ensure the value of minimum wage does not once again erode over time.

The Raise the Wage Act of 2019 was introduced by Norcross, the Democratic leadership team and Senator Bernie Sanders with 181 House cosponsors. Click here to read the bill text, click here to read the section-by-section summary and click here to read the fact sheet.

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Contact: Ally Kehoe, Communications Director
ally.kehoe@mail.house.gov