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The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

January 7, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Rep. Larsen backs Democratic bill to raise federal minimum wage

WASHINGTON — A U.S. House bill that would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour gained one more backer Tuesday with Rep. Rick Larsen of Everett.

Larsen joined at least 155 other Democrats — including four members from Washington — who already signed on as co-sponsors of the measure, introduced last March by Rep. George Miller of California. Larsen’s endorsement came a day after Seattle swore in a new mayor and a city council member who both campaigned on raising local minimum wages to $15 an hour.

The House bill would boost the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 over two years to $10.10.  The Fair Minimum Wage Act also would increase pay for waiters and other workers who earn tips from $2.13 per hour to 70 percent of the prevailing minimum wage.

Washington state’s minimum wage is $9.32 an hour.

At least 156 of the 200 House Democrats have signed on to the bill as co-sponsors; none of the 232 Republicans are backing it.

A study last month by University of Massachusetts Amherst estimated a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour would immediately lift 4.6 million Americans out of poverty.

Rep. Jim McDermott of Seattle was an original co-sponsor. He was followed later by Reps. Adam Smith of Bellevue, Suzan DelBene of Medina and Denny Heck of Olympia.

0 Comments | More in Congress | Topics: minimum wage, Rick Larsen

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