Protesters tell Senator Alexander to raise the minimum wage - WKRN News 2

Protesters tell Senator Alexander to raise the minimum wage

Posted: Updated: May 19, 2014 10:38 PM

A small group of protesters stood in front of Senator Lamar Alexander's Nashville office Monday with a message: raise the minimum wage.

"Congress and Senator Alexander aren't understanding that we, as a family, need money support," said Darlene Carruthers-Shelton, one of the group's organizers.

"We have to have a raise so we can take care of our families. If he was living on $7.25, how would he manage?" Shelton said, referring to Sen. Alexander.

The debate over raising the minimum wage is before Congress. Democrats want to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. It’s a proposal Sen. Alexander strongly opposes.

Sen. Alexander was not at his office Monday, but he stated later in a release that Republicans have a "better way" to raise family incomes.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said raising the wage would cause a loss of 500,000 jobs.

On the Senate floor Monday, Sen. Alexander said, "A minimum wage increase is said to benefit low-income Americans, but only $1 in $5 from an increase will go to families below the poverty line.”

“And that is not all,” he continued. “In addition to cutting 500,000 jobs and providing 80% of the benefits to families above the poverty level, the Democrats' job proposal imposes one more burden on the only Americans who are capable of solving this problem, and that is the job creators.”

Jackie Shrago, a small business owner and one of the protesters Monday, told Nashville’s News 2 that "of the 28 million who are working at minimum wage, two-thirds of them are women."

She said, "Those people are spending money in the community and when you look at the economy, that money trickles down. It actually trickles down and improves our economy.”

The protesters are hoping to get 10,000 signatures on a petition before handing it to Sen. Alexander.

A recent Gallup poll showed 71% of Americans support raising the minimum wage, which has remained $7.25 since 2009.

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