With Joe Biden’s inauguration as president of the United States, the country is perhaps closer than ever to a $15 federal minimum wage. In a speech last week, Biden outlined his $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which will send aid to those hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. Under the plan, Biden will call on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour from the current $7.25. The federal minimum wage has not been increased since 2009. While boosting the federal minimum wage to $15 is popular among some lawmakers, activists and consumers, it still faces a lot of opposition to becoming law.
In 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Raise the Minimum Wage Act, which would have incrementally increased the hourly wage each year, reaching $15 in 2025. But then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., blocked it. Even though Democrats now have a slim majority in both the House and the Senate, it’s not a given that Congress will be able to pass it as proposed, and the $15 wage is a sticking point for a number of lawmakers. The increase won't stop as those making that amount would want an increase - where will is stop? How many will go unemployed and what will the cost of all goods be?