Protecting Working American Familiesby Representative Gene Green
Posted on 2014-01-15
GREEN of Texas asked and was given permission to address
the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of tens of
thousands of my fellow Texans, the working poor and the unemployed,
whom our economic recovery is leaving behind.
Blessed with ample resources, many of our Nation's leading companies and universities, and a ``can do'' attitude, Texas has been America's leader in job creation and economic growth for the past decade.
Unfortunately, this economic success has not reached all Texans. Last year, the Labor Department announced that over 450,000 Texans earn at or below the Federal minimum wage, more than any other State in the country.
Nationwide, 3.6 million Americans earn at or below minimum wage at $7.25 an hour. This is just over $15,000 for someone working 40 hours a week for a full year, or more than $4,400 below the poverty line for a family of three.
These aren't just kids in high school or college earning minimum wage. Less than a quarter of the minimum wage workers are teenagers and nearly 40 percent are over the age of 30. This is simply not right. Nobody, no matter the city or State, can survive, let alone raise a family, on $15,000.
Madam Speaker, it is time for the economic recovery to benefit all Americans, not just the fortunate. Too many of our friends and neighbors are being left behind, and I call on this Chamber to bring up legislation that would increase the minimum wage and renew critical emergency unemployment benefits.