December 20th, 2007
07:07 PM ET
15 years ago

Clinton announces new bill one day after Edwards challenge

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

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • John Edwards
soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. Robb, New York

    "“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.”

    That's great, Hillary. I'm sure that'll be passed next week– oh, that's right. This is Congress we're talking about. That bill won't be railroaded through. It'll be put into committee in the Senate, then stalled there. Once the committee has its say and the Senate votes on it, it'll go to the House to stall out there. We'll probably get that $9.50 minimum wage by the next presidential election. And, like always, you introduce the bill or act only after an opponent challenges you on it.

    There's your self-anoited frontrunner/leader, ladies and gentlemen– only acting when someone else tells her to do something, not on her own accord. This is someone that's not fit for the White House.

    December 21, 2007 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  2. Mario ID

    Of course she is going to try to help raise the minimum wage...only after John Edwards did the right thing and rammed it down her throat! I'm glad he did, the cow needs help to be reminded of these things instead of eating so much.

    December 21, 2007 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. Mark, NC

    Soooo...if quick draw Hillary can introduce a minimum wage bill, why didn't she introduce a HEALTHCARE BILL? Why did she wait soo late? Aren't all of the senators on break?

    December 21, 2007 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. Sandy Dockendorff, Danville, Iowa

    Heh. Yep, once again Edwards leads and Clinton follows. Edwards has been advocating to raise the minimum wage to $9.50/hour for five months.

    Edwards has been leading on all the issues. Shoot, even AFSCME used Edwards healthcare plan to attack Obama...not Clinton's (whom they endorsed.)

    Vote Edwards, he is the real change candidate.

    December 21, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  5. James Phillips, Durham NC

    It is easy to introduce a bill, but you should congratulate HRC when the bill is passed by both houses and signed by the President. Fat chance. It is just showwomanship on her part

    December 21, 2007 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. Jason, Minneapolis

    This is a horrible idea, I can't imagine paying an employee of mine 20,000 a year; that would wind up making it so my employees would only need two jobs instead of three. Thus, becuase I'm the kind of boss that would just work them harder because I'm trying to ring every cent out of their labor, that third job they quit is going to be mine. Thus, I'm going to have to clean up after myself, and nobody making the kind of money I do should have to do that.

    December 21, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  7. Brian, Brookfield, MO

    Minimum wage increase doesn't fix the economy it only hurts. It will hurt small business. Larger business are already tired of our countries standards are slowly moving jobs outside the country.

    If you are going to hike minimum wage figure out how to offset the inflation that will come with then, I would call her brilliant.

    Though people think increasing minumum wage helps the low income families it merely is going to drive them into unemployment.

    It doesn't hurt the upper class at all but it will devestate the middle class due to the eventual inflation.

    December 21, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |


    December 21, 2007 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  9. Jane, Englewood, NJ

    Hey America! That plasma TV you have an eye on…price just went up by 20%.

    Posted By Mario Uy Streamwood IL : December 20, 2007 8:39 pm

    That would be so, if any American had any part of making it – but thanks to Clinton and Bush free trade agreements, that plasma TV's made in a country with no minimum wage, and no OHSA.

    December 21, 2007 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  10. william walsh

    why dont you take back the oil companys like when roesevelt gave away the united states, raise gas prices for 2 years to 4 a gallon,put that 800 billion in profits into getting this country back up and running,better yet, go ahead and develop e-85 from corn and take that money and buy the oil companys for 20 on the dollar,,got any guts? i think every farmer in this country would grow corn if it was to benifit there country dont you? i mean before your goverment bankrupts the whole country, its ruthless times,and that calls for ruthless measures, i dont mind paying 9.50 a hr if im buying gas at 80 a gallon, there only paying .60 in brazil for e-85,so whats your excuse?i suggest you travel outside the country and see what and how other goverments are using there power and resources, you can either do it or china will here in this country,after were bankrupt,which youve already pushed the working class to there limit,witout us there is no future for you to make! and youve almost done it now,i suggest you do something quickly, as companys are dropping left and right,then whos going to pay your 9.50 an hr? not me!

    December 21, 2007 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  11. Colin, Brooklyn NY

    To all ye who oppose raising the minimum wage. Please show me one study where raising the minimum wage has resulted directly in the significant loss of jobs, or damage to small businesses.

    More wages across the board means more disposable income which leads to booming business. Looks at the states that have had higher wages than nationally – not doing too badly, are they?

    If you're going to diss the idea, please back it up with facts, instead of lies.

    December 21, 2007 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  12. Mark R. Fort Lauderdale FL

    I disagree with both of you on this. 9.50 /hr is too much to say, "you want fries with that?"

    December 22, 2007 03:11 am at 3:11 am |
  13. Christopher, Anchorage, AK

    Why raise the minimum wage for those that put in minimal effort?

    What a waste of my money and to make my education, experience, and motivation to work hard worth less.

    Our state already has a minimum wage law that keeps it 1.75 higher than Federal. So now they are going to make over $11 p/hr for minimum effort? Why?

    When our state raised the minimum wage. Just to put things in prospective for people and give an easy example.. when my state raised the minimum wage to $1.75 an hour higher than federal everything on a $1 menu went to $1.39 or 1.50; all the $1 stores became 1.50 stores. A simple example but the costs went up across the board, as well as cost people jobs.

    Increasing Minimum wage only lowers the value of money (inflation) and increases the overall cost for everyone but those that put in minimal effort with minimal skill. The minimum wage should not be a form of social welfare; which is exactly what Edwards and Clinton are proposing.

    December 22, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Emily: What a load of b.s. You obviously have no clue about Edwards history working for minimum wage increases in mulitple states and how he co-sponsored countles minimum wage increases before Hillary was even in the Senate. Edwards also built learning labs for kids who couldn't afford computers and tutoring. Edwards also started a college program for kids who couldn't afford to go to college. Do your research, Edwards has done a hell of a lot in regards to fighting poverty, your candidate only did this because the Iowa caucus is days away.

    December 22, 2007 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Shannon: Are you serious? Do you actually believe we need people who have experience in the private sector to run our economy? How do you think Bush has been doing? He ran an oil company into the ground. Cheney formerly headed up Halliburton. Yeah, the private sector Republicans have done wonders to the American dollar and our economy.

    December 22, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Brian: Where are your morals? How in the heck do you defend corporations going overseas to employ children for .15 an hour? How can you defend what American corp. are doing? You do know that they are making the largest profits ever in history?

    December 22, 2007 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  17. Monty, Riverside, CA

    This raise in minimum wage is a smoke screen by the con artists running for office. There is no family in this country that can live on $9.50 per hour. That is $19,000 per year. What is the annual cost of housing, medical, and food for a family not to mention insurance, gas and utilities. I would like to see our representatives live on this wage so they can understand what working people really have to contend with. The politicos are all a smoke and mirrors with their own personal adgenda. Instead of linking the minimum raise with Congressional pay lets reduce Congressional pay to the minimum wage, after all look at what they have accompolished. Not much

    December 23, 2007 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  18. kungfublood Redwood valley Ca.

    I think it is a terrific idea good going Hilliary way to lead by example! Your willingness to work for minimum wage is a shining example to all the greedy people in politics all over the world and is an historic event!

    December 23, 2007 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  19. Roger from Mass.

    Look at them, destroying the middle class by pulling the lower, uneducated, class up into it!!

    I busted my butt to get to where I am today, and they're going to make my hard-earned wages worth even less by mandating that grocery baggers and janitors get paid nearly as much as newly-graduated baccalaureate college students, who meanwhile struggle to find well-paying work in their fields because all of their jobs are shipped off to the third world because of these "free trade" NWO types??

    I never thought we'd have to go though the trouble of defeating communism again, much less in our home country!!!!

    December 23, 2007 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  20. Ajay Jain

    "Former" Senator Edward can honk/attack all he wants from the "outside" and Hillary will get things done from the inside by becoming our President in 2009!

    Thats called a polite political SLAP in the FACE Mr Edwards!

    Go Hillary44 08!

    December 23, 2007 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
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