WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — For more than a decade, the federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25. With costs of living rising, some lawmakers are renewing a push to raise it, despite the tricky political environment.
Well-Paid Maids isn’t just the name of Aaron Seyedian’s company, it’s also his business philosophy.
“No matter what the business size is, it’s good business sense to pay a living wage,” Seyedian said.
He pays a starting wage of $23 an hour, which he says has had a number of benefits like less turnover and lower business costs.
“If you pay people enough to live on they’ll be happy working for you, they’ll do a better job, customers will be more satisfied with the end result,” Seyedian said.
That’s why he’s fighting to raise wages nationwide.
Now, lawmakers are renewing a push to raise the minimum wage with a bill that would gradually increase it to $17 by 2028.
Congressman Bobby Scott is among those championing the legislation.
“No county in the United States can a full-time minimum wage worker at the present minimum wage afford a modest two-bedroom apartment. You know that’s not right,” Rep. Scott said.
He argues raising the minimum wage would not only benefit workers, it would also improve the overall economy.
“Minimum wage workers generally spend their entire paychecks. So all of the money goes right back into the economy,” Rep. Scott added.
But the plan faces fierce opposition in a politically divided Congress.
Republican Senator Rick Scott says wages aren’t the most pressing problem.
“Biden and the Democrats’ spending is causing inflation and wages don’t stay up with inflation. Let’s solve that issue first,” Sen. Scott said.
There’s division among Democrats too. Senator Mark Warner agrees with raising the minimum wage, but not to $17.
“Keep me at 15. We’ll again look at economic circumstances down the road,” Warner said.
Advocates say they’re going to keep trying to build momentum for policy they believe helps everyone.
“If you run a business in such a way that people can meet their basic needs, you’re going to have a better business,” Seyedian said.