In a USA Today poll in January, close to three-quarters of Americans said that they would support an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. But even though a majority of Americans at least want this issue decided by Congress, House Speaker John Boehner won’t allow it — precisely because the vote wouldn’t go his way.
On this issue, it’s time to tell Boehner to get out of the way and, as he likes to say, let the House work its will.
Use our click-to-call tool to ask your member of Congress to sign the discharge petition that would put an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour to a vote on the House floor.
A discharge petition is a procedure that allows a majority of the members of the House to call for a vote on legislation that is being blocked by House leadership. It was designed for a time such as this.
The petition was filed by Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) on behalf of the Fair Minimum Wage Act sponsored by Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.). “The discharge petition I filed today is an unfortunate necessity in order to ensure action will be taken by this Congress to improve the lives of tens of millions of Americans,” said Rep. Bishop in a statement this week. “This is an issue that has wide support among the American public but so far has not been acted on in Washington. It is time for that to change and it is time to raise the wage.”
Republican leaders in the House have refused to even hold a hearing on the Miller bill. But most congressional observers believe that if the bill came up for a vote, enough Republicans would support it to allow it to pass in the House. And with near-certain passage in the Senate, it would be signed into law by President Obama.
That would be a particularly significant accomplishment because this minimum wage bill, unlike previous ones, would index the minimum wage to inflation, eliminating the need for future political fights.
The discharge petition needs 218 signatures. House members already know this is a popular issue. They now need to know that you will not let them duck from taking a stand. Refusal to sign this discharge petition is tantamount to a vote against a minimum wage increase, and that in turn is a vote against giving 25 million hard-working Americans a wage that will lift them out of poverty and deprivation. Make the click, and make the call.