Vice President Joseph R. Biden asked Americans Saturday to confront lawmakers who oppose raising the federal minimum wage.
“Ask your representatives who oppose raising the federal minimum wage—why do they oppose it?” Mr. Biden said in the White House weekly address. “There’s no reason in the world why an American working 40 hours a week has to live in poverty.”
President Obama is waging an election-year push with congressional Democrats to boost the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour. Many Republican lawmakers oppose the action, pointing to a study that the move would eliminate about 500,000 jobs nationwide.
Mr. Biden, who filled in this week while the president was traveling overseas, said there’s proof that raising the minimum wage is good for the economy.
“There’s clear data that shows fair wages generate loyalty of workers to their employers, which has the benefit of increasing productivity and leading to less turn over,” Mr. Biden said. “It’s really good for the economy as a whole because raising the minimum wage would generate an additional $19 billion in additional income for people who need it the most.”
He also said it would help to close the gap in pay between men and women, because women make up the majority of minimum-wage employees.
“The president and I think they deserve it,” Mr. Biden said. “And we think a lot of you do too. So, folks, it’s time to act. It’s time to give America a raise.”