The incoming president said that no American worker should work 40 hours per week and still live below the poverty line, adding that these people are “entitled” to at least $15 per hour.
“I also hope that Democratic control of the House and Senate will raise the odds of prompt action on increasing the minimum wage,” Biden said during a national address on Friday. “I’ve long said that we need to reward work, not just wealth, in this country. People in both parties now recognize it’s time to raise the minimum wage so hard-working people earn at least $15 an hour.”
Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25, where it has been for more than a decade.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris reiterated during the same event on Friday that the administration intended to fight for a higher minimum wage.
Boston Mayor Marty Feldstein was been nominated to take up the role of U.S. Labor Secretary, though Biden said he did give “serious consideration” to nominating Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., to the post.
However, the president-elect said the pair agreed that ensuring Democratic control of the Senate was a greater priority.
Biden said he and Sanders would “work together” on a “shared agenda” to increase worker power.
Biden indicated a near-term economic relief plan would focus on small businesses, in addition to getting $2,000 stimulus checks to eligible households.