Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley is joining fellow Democrats in a renewed push to increase the federal minimum wage. Discussion about raising the minimum wage at the state level don’t appear to be gaining much traction. Braley was asked if there was an advantage to raising the wage at the federal level compared to the state level.
“Obviously if congress takes it up it has national implications because it becomes the national minimum wage standard,” Braley says. “But a number of states have already taken the lead and have increased the minimum wage in their states — because they have concluded as I have — that it has significant ripple effects throughout the economy.”
Braley says the minimum wage was last raised at the federal and state level when he was first elected to the U.S. House in 2007 and an increase is overdue.
“And that’s why even though I will have no involvement in the action that’s going on in the Iowa Legislature, it’s completely appropriate to have discussions in both the state legislature and in congress,” according to Braley.
Braley is from Waterloo and is running for the U.S. Senate in 2014. He was also asked about a possible link of the raising of the minimum wage to a new Farm Bill. “I haven’t seen any conversation about using the minimum in connection with the Farm Bill,” Braley says, “but they are very closely related because they do tend to impact the same class of Iowans, those people who are struggling on the margins to get by.” Braley made his comments during his weekly conference call with reporters.