WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement today after President Biden announced he would raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $15 an hour:

“With today’s historic executive order, President Biden is following through on his campaign promise to millions of low-wage federal contract workers and the broader Fight for Fifteen movement for worker justice. We will no longer allow companies receiving our tax dollars to underpay and undervalue you. Many of these workers have been performing essential work during the pandemic without the benefit of a living wage. We are also pleased that this decision will eliminate the subminimum tipped wage and ensure that workers with disabilities receive fair compensation for their labor. 

“Today’s announcement demonstrates Democrats’ commitment to providing working families with economic security and using every tool of government to tangibly improve the lives of the American people. While we celebrate this victory, the Progressive Caucus will not rest until we make the minimum wage a living wage for every worker across America and finally guarantee a voice on the job through the passage of the PRO Act. We once again call on President Biden and Senate Democrats to use every tool possible to increase the minimum wage to $15, give 32 million workers a raise, and lift one million people out of poverty.  

“I am particularly proud of the role that the Progressive Caucus played in paving the path for today’s decision. Eight years ago, under the leadership of former Chairs Keith Ellison and Raul Grijalva, the CPC was able to successfully convince President Obama to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour. That decision established the legal and political precedent for today’s executive order.”

Beginning in 2013, the CPC was the first group in Congress to urge President Obama to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers.  From 2013 to 2015, the CPC supported a series of strikes by federal contract workers demanding a living wage and a voice on the job.  These efforts culminated in Obama-Biden Executive Order 13656, which required federal contract workers to receive $10.10 per hour, as well as the Fair Pay Safe Workplaces Executive Order, which denied federal contracts to employers with significant wage and workplace safety violations.