“The laborer is worthy of his hire,” we read in the Gospel of Matthew (10:10). One of the most basic principles of Catholic Social Teaching was laid out in the papal Encyclical Rerum Novarum, the principle that every worker deserves a living wage. America’s current $7.25 per hour minimum wage – less than $15,000 per year for a full-time worker, hardly constitutes a living wage in any state in the union. That’s why the Catholic Labor Network supports the Raise the Wage Act, which would raise the minimum wage to $9.50 immediately and to $15 per hour by 2025.
The Raise the Wage Act has support in the House of Representatives but has encountered a major setback in the Senate. Because opponents have threatened to filibuster the bill, it would take 60 votes to pass in the Senate. Supporters tried to bypass a filibuster by appending it to the American Rescue Plan – aka the COVID relief bill – which as a budget matter only requires a simple majority. But the Senate parliamentarian has now ruled that Raise the Wage is not a budget matter and not eligible for such treatment.
We can’t let this be the end of the line for a living wage. The Senate needs to get back to work and ensure that America’s working poor get a raise. Have you told your Senators you support Raise the Wage? If not, call or write them today!