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Rick Larsen for Congress


unable to escape poverty

Like a lot of you, I had a part-time job in high school. I made $3.50 per hour at a bookbindery.

It wasn't much, but it was a little something extra because I already had a roof over my head and food on my table.

Now imagine right now, someone trying to survive on $7.25 per hour. Not for a little extra spending money, but for the basics—food, a place to live, medical care.

The reality of the low-wage labor market is a harsh one. Low-wage workers are older and often the sole breadwinners. And they deserve to be able to survive without cutting corners, skipping bills, or not being able to feed their families.

That's why, recently, I was proud to join my colleagues in the House to pass a long-overdue increase to the federal minimum wage.

Here in Washington state, we're already on the right track. But the same can't be said for workers in dozens of states where the minimum wage isn't enough for them to escape poverty.

For too long, opponents of raising the minimum wage say it's bad for business. They say it's only about teenagers making a few extra bucks after school.

That's just not true.

This is about families. This is about survival and the American Dream. This is about what kind of America we want for our children and grandchildren: one that rewards honest work, or one that doesn't.

The next step is the Senate. I implore my colleagues there to take up the issue right away. Because too many families can't afford to wait much longer for us to act.


Posted on August 12, 2019.

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Rick Larsen

Meet Rick Larsen

Rick Larsen represents Washington state's 2nd Congressional District. Rick was born and raised in Arlington and his family has called Northwest Washington home for over a century. Learn more.