Chairman Rangel Hails Minimum Wage Increase

Jul 24, 2007
Press Release

WASHINGTON –Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel joined Democratic Congressional leaders at a rally today to mark the first increase in the Federal minimum wage in a decade. Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) was a leader in the effort to pass the minimum wage increase earlier this year, crafting a fiscally responsible, bipartisan tax relief package for small businesses to accompany the wage increase.

"Working families spoke and Congress delivered the first increase in the minimum wage in a decade," said Chairman Rangel. "Beginning today, millions of Americans earning the minimum wage will bring home a bigger paycheck to help them keep up with the rising cost of living and give them a renewed sense of dignity for their hard work. Millions of workers earning minimum wage are women and minorities working long hours, sometimes juggling two or three jobs to make ends meet. With this increase, we make an investment in America that will reap benefits for generations to come."


Beginning today, the Federal minimum wage will increase from $5.15 to $5.85 per hour and will continue to rise incrementally over the next two years until it reaches $7.25 per hour.

Nearly 13 million Americans will benefit from the increase – 5.2 million directly and 7.2 million indirectly, including an estimated 661,000 New Yorkers who will be affected by the wage increase.

Raising the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour will result in an additional $4,400 per year for a family of three, roughly equivalent to 15 months of groceries, 19 months of utilities or 20 months of child care. Before today’s increase, the purchasing power of the minimum wage was at its lowest level since 1955. For more information on the minimum wage, please visit: