"A $15 federal minimum wage affirms the bedrock idea of fairness in our country: that hard work deserves a decent wage. We will open up opportunities for working families and drive economic growth that lifts up all communities – because our economy works best when it works for everyone, not just the wealthy and privileged few," Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday.
Spokespeople for the White House and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not immediately respond to requests to comment on whether the GOP leaders would back the bill.
The legislation likely will not become law as long as Republicans control the Senate and White House. In 2016, Trump said he would rather leave the issue "to the states." In October, his top economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, called a U.S. wage floor a "terrible idea," saying, "Idaho is different than New York."
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which bills itself as the world's largest business organization, has also criticized the $15 per hour federal minimum wage plan. In December, Marc Freedman, vice president of employment policy at the Chamber, said many businesses "do not have the ability to absorb an increase in their labor costs."
The legislation rekindles a debate that has raged in various industries around the country. In a statement, Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, said: "Everyone who works—no matter where they are from or what the color of their skin is—deserves to be paid enough to lead a decent life and provide for their family, and that's what a $15 minimum wage will do." The organization represents workers in a variety of occupations including public school employees, child care providers, janitors and security officers.
Meanwhile, the National Restaurant Association cautioned against a minimum wage hike to $15 per hour. If Congress decides to "drastically increase operating costs then these small businesses will be forced to hire fewer people, reduce hours, or even close their doors," said Shannon Meade, the organization's vice president of public policy and workforce.
Trump has repeatedly pointed to monthly jobs and gross domestic product growth as evidence of his success. He touts the Republican tax law — which slashed rates for businesses and trimmed them for most individuals — and deregulation efforts as positive for workers.
Nonfarm payroll growth blew past expectations with 312,000 in December, while wages rose 3.2 percent from the previous year. But critics have pointed out that real wage growth adjusted for inflation has been tepid. The metric rose 0.5 percent in December.
Democrats have also taken to hammering Trump over the partial government shutdown now entering its 26th day. About 800,000 federal workers have missed paychecks as the impasse over the president's demand for more than $5 billion to build a portion of his proposed border wall drags on. The White House now expects the closure will dock 0.1 percentage point from GDP growth for every week it lasts.
At the Democratic news conference Tuesday, Schumer tied Trump's labor policies to the shutdown to contend that the president has "completely abandoned American workers."
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