Alan Grayson To Force Republicans On The Record On Minimum Wage

Grayson To Force Republicans On The Record On Minimum Wage

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) proposed an amendment to a House spending bill Tuesday that would raise the minimum wage for federal government workers. A roll call vote on the amendment, scheduled Wednesday, will force Republicans to go on the record opposing a living wage for federal employees.

Grayson pitched a minimum wage of $10.10 an hour for federal employees, which he said was "still a very modest amount." He said the U.S. government should set an example for business owners. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25.

"This amendment would end the federal government's practice of paying poverty wages to its workers, and hopefully set an example for the private sector to stop paying poverty wages to its workers," Grayson said on the House floor.

The amendment would remove the lowest pay grades for federal workers, forcing them into higher pay categories.

"A fair day's work should result in a fair day's pay," Grayson said, adding that current wages force some federal employees to take multiple jobs, potentially reducing the quality of their work.

After the amendment failed in a voice vote Tuesday night, Grayson requested a roll call vote, which was postponed until Wednesday. In an interview with The Huffington Post, Grayson said the roll call will force House members -- including those who repeatedly vote against measures that would improve conditions in poor home districts -- to go on the record to oppose a livable wage.

"The Republicans have been ducking a vote on the minimum wage all year long, in the same way they've been ducking votes" on other key issues, like immigration reform, Grayson said in an interview. "I saw an opportunity to force a vote on the minimum wage, and I took advantage."

Grayson said the tea party has been "dictating" what the Republican-led House votes on. "And that's to the detriment of the national interest," he said. What the nation will benefit from, he explained, is boosting the minimum wage for the working poor, a move that could "elevate the entire economy."

"What we'll see here is if we pay people fairly, we're not only doing the moral thing ... but we're also doing the thing that will help everyone overall," he added.

Grayson also responded to criticism from Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.), who said on the House floor that the wording of Grayson's amendment meant federal employees at the lowest pay grades wouldn't be paid. Grayson said the assertion was "nonsensical."

"If we eliminate the lowest paying grades, then these workers will simply be paid more," Grayson explained. "That's an obvious, common sense reading of the provision.

View the text of the amendment below:



At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following:

SEC.___. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to pay any individual at an annual rate of Grade 1, Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6; or Grade 2 Step 1 or 2 as defined in the “Salary Table 2014-GS” published by the Office of Personnel Management. Further, none of the funds made available by this Act may be used to pay any individual at an hourly basic rate of Grade 1, Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6; or Grade 2, Step 1 or 2.

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An extra £1.34 an hour could buy you a whole bag of apples
Many different supermarkets sell apples for this price or less. And it's a great way to spend the money, seeing as poor children are often priced out of a healthy meal.
An extra £10.72 a day could buy colouring pens and pencils
It could help families like Vicky's - she told Save the Children last month that colouring pencils and paper were a luxury her family could ill-afford, even though her son loves art.
Or buy a roast dinner for the family
It is possible - here's Hear'say's Suzanne Shaw to show you how. And it's more important than ever, with research showing more than 20 per cent of British families sits down for a family meal only once or twice a week.
Or take the family swimming
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A third of children cannot swim even a short distance of 25 metres by the time they leave school, and this extra money to cover the cost to get them in the water and get learning.
An extra £53.60 a week could buy a council gym membership for a month
Three quarters of men in Britain will be overweight or obese by 2030, according to the UK Heart Forum. But gym memberships can be prohibitively expensive.
An extra £214.20 over a month could buy a bike to get to work
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You don't have to spend a fortune, there's a whole range of bikes under £200 And it saves money on petrol.
Or buy a new school uniform
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An extra £428.40 over two months could buy a family holiday in France
It won't buy anything luxurious, but every family deserves a little time together in the sun, even if it needs to cost under £500. And holidays inspire disadvantaged children to learn more, according to research from Nottingham University.
Or cover the average rise in rent
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An extra £1285.20 over six months could mean a family is able to start saving money
According to the Labour party, the economic crisis has meant that the average family will be worse off by £974 a year by the time of next year's election. With this rise in pay, families could mitigate the effects of the recession, and perhaps begin to save.
An extra £2570.40 over a year could buy a family a secondhand car
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There's plenty of cars on the secondhand market for this price.
Or start your child saving for university
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But if you want to buy a house..
It will take 12 years to save for an average deposit - which is £31,000. In the North it would take only six years because the average deposit is £15,862. In London, it would take almost 22 years to save the average deposit of £56,183.

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