Biden requires the federal minimal wage to be raised to $ 15 an hour
U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris (L) watches as U.S. President-elect Joe Biden (R) delivers a speech on January 8, 2021 in Wilmington, Delaware.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images News | Getty Images
The federal minimum wage is about to be updated for the first time in more than a decade.
President-elect Joe Biden said Thursday he would ask Congress to raise the federal minimum wage from the current $ 7.25 an hour to $ 15 an hour. The federal minimum wage has not increased since 2009.
The call for a federal minimum wage hike is part of a larger $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package called the American Rescue Plan, which is designed to help strengthen the U.S. economy from the damage caused by the pandemic.
"There should be a national minimum wage of $ 15 an hour," Biden said during a speech on Thursday evening. "Nobody who works 40 hours a week should live below the poverty line."
He added that while raising the federal minimum wage may be difficult, individual states have shown their support by passing their own laws to raise the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour.
"Florida just passed, as divided as this state is, they just passed," he said. "The rest of the country is ready to move too."
California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York have also passed state laws to raise the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour.
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Raising the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour and ending the minimum wage and minimum wage for people with disabilities will help workers across the country care for their families, according to the brief.
"Hardworking Americans earn enough wages to put food on the table and have a roof over their heads without having to keep multiple jobs," wrote the incoming Biden administration in a briefing paper distributed before the speech . "But millions of working families are struggling to get through."
The government also pointed out that raising the minimum wage will help workers at the forefront of the pandemic, 40% of whom are black people.