Congress must take action now to protect working families
The clock is ticking as Congress continues to display a lack of leadership in protecting Americans. Last week, Congress failed to pass legislation that would raise the minimum wage and lift hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians out of poverty. Nationwide, more than 24 million workers currently making as little as $7.25 an hour would benefit from increasing the minimum wage. By raising the minimum wage, we could add $31 billion to the paychecks of families across the country. This is money that would not only help thousands of families in our region make ends meet, but would pour millions of dollars into our local economy, creating new jobs and driving local and state tax revenue at a time when Pennsylvania is facing a projected budget shortfall.
At the same time, the House of Representatives has wasted multiple opportunities to pass the Senate bill that would reauthorize Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits for millions of unemployed Americans. Too many of our friends and neighbors are still unemployed as our economy continues its sluggish recovery. With over 90,000 Pennsylvanians being unemployed for more than six months, this extension would go a long way toward allowing these otherwise qualified workers to avoid financial ruin as they continue toward rejoining the workforce.
As a state representative, I have worked for large parts of Northeast Philadelphia in Harrisburg, making it my mission to fight for these types of common-sense reforms to protect the most vulnerable members of our community. As I now run for Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District, I have continuously stressed that these reforms would help both residents in our district and our larger economy. Extending unemployment benefits and raising the minimum wage need to be top priorities for lawmakers in Washington, and I hope to be able to work on these issues for Northeast Philadelphia next year. ••
State Rep. Brendan F. Boyle