WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that would gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
The 231 – 199 vote was largely along party lines with all but six Democrats voting yes and all but three Republicans voting no.
The bill was the centerpiece of the Democratic agenda for the party’s return to the majority in the House.
While Democrats won the battle, they will probably lose the war since the bill is unlikely to see the light of day in the Senate.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says it’s been 10 years since Congress last increased the minimum wage—to $7.25 an hour.
“Thirty million people in our country getting a raise,” she said.
The legislation seeks to gradually increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by the year 2025.
Congressman Lloyd Smucker, R-Pennsylvania, pointed to a recent study that said as many as 3.7 million Americans could lose their jobs if the bill were to become law.
“Our friends on the other side of the aisle are not talking about that aspect of the bill,” Smucker said.
Congressman Scott Perry, R-Pennsylvania, argued the bill will do more harm than good.
“Young people and people at the bottom of the economic spectrum that we’re trying to help are not going to have the opportunity,” Perry said.
“Don’t let them get away with this hogwash,” said Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, D-Connecticut.
Low worker pay is the single biggest economic challenge of our time, according to DeLauro.
“My colleagues on the other side of the aisle don’t respect the work of 34 million Americans,” she added.
Maryland Democrat David Trone, a business owner with more than 7,000 employees, says it’s not bad for business, it’s good for America.
“We see families that can afford their rent, their health care and other necessities and a stronger economy,” Trone said.