Clinton's campaign said Thursday she introduced minimum wage legislation yesterday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Just one day after a challenge from presidential rival John Edwards to commit to raising the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton announced that she had already introduced legislation to do just that.
“With stagnant wages and skyrocketing costs for healthcare, energy and college, working families in America need a break. That is why yesterday I introduced legislation to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 by 2011, and link the minimum wage to Congressional pay raises after that,” said Clinton in a Thursday statement. The senator said the measure was “the first bill ever to call for a $9.50 minimum wage.”
In her statement, Clinton said the new legislation had been introduced Wednesday, although her campaign did not release that information until late Thursday.
Clinton and Edwards have spent the past few days in a verbal tug-of-war over their respective anti-poverty credentials. At a New Hampshire campaign stop Wednesday, Edwards reacted angrily to comments that he said questioned his commitment to ending poverty.
"She said something about ‘People are talking about poverty, but, you know, what are we going to do about it?’" characterizing the remarks as a “veiled reference” to him. "Let me just be clear," said Edwards. "Ending poverty in this country is the cause of my life, and I am completely committed to it."
He then called on Clinton and other White House hopefuls to commit to raising the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour, and to come up with their own comprehensive plan to end poverty.
In an interview with CNN's Suzanne Malveaux Thursday afternoon, Edwards again called on Clinton and the rest of his Democratic rivals to come out in favor of the $9.50 figure. Clinton's statement was released shortly after his appearance.
–CNN’s Rebecca Sinderbrand