News Releases

Murray: “Are Republicans really going to block giving 15 million American women a raise?”

Jan 30 2014

Senate Democratic Women Discuss Importance of Minimum Wage to Women

Two-Thirds of Those Earning the Minimum Wage or Less are Women

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), joined her female Democratic colleagues to discuss the importance of raising the minimum wage, and specifically, the impact it would have for women across the United States.  Murray was joined by Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

Nearly two-thirds of those who earn the minimum wage or less are women, and after President Obama urged Congress to raise the minimum wage during his State of the Union address Tuesday, Senate Democrats have called on their Republican colleagues to support legislation to do that.

Senator Murray’s remarks, as prepared:

“I know that there is a limited amount of time, and there a lot of my colleagues here to speak, so I just want to ask one important question that that I hope all of you will follow up on over the course of the next month.

“And that is: Are Republicans really going to block giving 15 million American women a raise?

“Are they really prepared to tell 1 in 4 working women in America that $7.25 an hour – enough for about two gallons of gas - is enough for them to support themselves and their kids?

“Are they prepared to do that at a time when more and more women are depended upon as the sole income earners in American families?

“And if they are, what does blocking a minimum wage increase say about their priorities when it comes to American women?

“Because telling American women that they don’t deserve a living wage isn’t about “tone” or how they talk about women’s issues -  it’s about what they do – it’s about policy.

“So my hope is that over the next month, our Republican colleagues do a little soul searching as they prepare for this vote.

“I hope they talk to the millions of American women, who like my own mother when I was growing up, are the sole breadwinners and caregivers in their families.

“And I hope they get a sense of how $7.25 an hour today translates to a grocery trip for a family of four, or to shopping for school supplies, or even how it impacts making the daily commute.

“And then when they return here I hope they have a good explanation if they plan to oppose this.

“Because American women aren’t focused on how they are talking, they are interested in what they’re actually saying.”