(Image Credit: AP) Democratic Presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton proposed on Tuesday a federal minimum wage of $12 an hour, raising it from the current $7.25.
While being on a campaign stop in Iowa, Clinton reiterated that the central element of her 2016 elections campaign is raising wages for working Americans, including raising the minimum wage. Up until now, she did not disclose a specific number.
According to Reuters, while being in Coralville, Iowa, she stated “I want to raise the federal minimum wage to $12, and encourage other communities to go even higher.” She made her proposal to a crowd in Grinnell College as well, stating “I think we can manage it, and I don’t think there should be any unintended consequences to job creation.”
Clinton’s rival for the Democratic Presidential nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, has been vowing to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, something that Clinton has stated is difficult to achieve, but on Tuesday she said that the most reasonable raise would be $12. She said “I am more comfortable saying let us get to $12 in a reasonable, expeditious way.”
She expressed her concern that if the federal government raised the minimum wage to $15 it would be too high for some rural areas of the United States, due to their low costs of living, but other places would be just fine with it. She said that communities that want to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour should be allowed to do so and that she would fight for that right.
A federal minimum wage of $12 falls a bit short of the level required by labor unions, but on the other hand it is much higher than the one that is favored by President Barack Obama, who has called for raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
Her proposal would set the minimum wage at the same point as it was in a point in history when the minimum wage was the highest and that was in 1986.
Clinton made other issues a central part of her campaign, most notably gun control, wanting to make it a voting issue and also an attempt to surpass Senator Bernie Sanders from the left, because supporters from the far left are sticking with Sanders and his proposal of a minimum wage set at $15 an hour.
The matter has become a single voting issue for many working Americans, especially at times when some cities and municipalities have been increasing their rates above the current federal minimum.