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Udall: GOP Chooses Obstruction Over Helping Working Families


Thursday, May 1, 2014   

SANTA FE, N.M. – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico said Wednesday Republicans in the Senate are choosing obstruction over helping working families by voting to kill a bill that would boost the minimum wage.

The Democratic lawmaker's comments followed the Republicans' vote against the Minimum Wage Fairness Act.

"Working Americans are not moving forward, they are falling behind,” Udall said. “Year after year, paycheck by paycheck, they work just as hard, but they earn less and less."

Udall stressed the legislation would have gradually increased the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour.

If enacted, he said it would have put more than $200 million into the hands of New Mexico workers and boosted the state's gross domestic product by $127 million.

He added that about 147,000 New Mexicans would have received a raise, and more than 35,000 would have been lifted out of poverty.

Meanwhile, Republicans countered that raising the minimum wage could cause businesses to lay off workers and slow the economic recovery.

Udall said GOP lawmakers don't seem to mind that America's rich are getting richer, while working families struggle to survive.

"For the top 1 percent it couldn't be better,” he maintained. “Their share of earned income is the highest it's been since 1929.

“But the average worker has to run faster and faster just to even stay in place."

President Barack Obama is calling on voters in the upcoming Congressional midterm elections to oust Republican lawmakers who voted against the minimum-wage increase.

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