WASHINGTON—Ahead of Labor Day, Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, calls on President Biden to give millions of Americans a raise by increasing the federal overtime threshold.
“President Biden and Congressional Democrats have taken important steps to strengthen our economic recovery from the pandemic and lower costs for families around the country, including passing the Inflation Reduction Act to most recently canceling up to $20,000 of student debt per borrower. But still, too many families are being squeezed by rising prices, particularly when it comes to housing and food. We can, and must, use every tool available to provide economic relief. That is why the Progressive Caucus prioritized both student debt cancellation and raising the overtime threshold as two of our top executive action priorities and have been working consistently over months with the White House to ensure their implementation.
“Now, ahead of Labor Day, we reiterate our call for President Biden and the Department of Labor to increase the overtime threshold. The current level of the federal guarantee for overtime pay is so low that it covers only about 15 percent of full-time salaried workers — forcing millions to essentially work any hours above 40 per week for free, at a time when they cannot afford to do so. As part of our Progressive Caucus Executive Action Agenda, released in March, and again in a letter to Labor Secretary Walsh in June, we asked the administration to raise the salary threshold to above $82,000 per year, which would cover 55 percent of workers at one-and-a-half times their regular pay, and give millions of people a raise.
“President Biden has vowed to be ‘the most pro-union president leading the most pro-union administration in American history.’ Raising the overtime threshold will give millions of workers more money in their pockets at a time when they desperately need it, and be a powerful demonstration of that pro-labor commitment we know he feels. We cannot rest until we’ve exhausted every option to ease the burden on working people.”
The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is made up of 100 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and advance civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, good-paying jobs, fair trade, universal health care, debt-free college, climate action, and a just foreign policy. The caucus has been the leading voice calling for bold and sweeping solutions to the urgent crises facing this nation, including ending America’s broken for-profit health care system, raising the minimum wage, eliminating political corruption, bolstering labor protections for working families, and taking swift action to stop the warming of our planet.