Listen to audio version of this article
Congressman Donald Norcross (D-CD1), who serves on the United States House Committee on Education and Labor, offered his support for HR 582, the Raise the Wage Act. With New Jersey Congressman Tom Malinowski (D-CD7) acting as Speaker Pro Tempore for the debate, Norcross thanked Virginian Congressman Robert “Bobby” Cortez Scott (D-CD3) for his efforts and leadership in advancing the Raise the Wage Act. Norcross is a co-sponsor of the legislation, in addition to the other Democratic members of the state’s congressional delegation.
“Finally, after 11 years, will have a vote to raise the minimum wage. This is America. You play by the rules, you work hard, you are supposed to be able to make it. But that’s not the way it is,” Norcross said. “Less than two years ago, our colleagues on the other side of the aisle made sure that the top 1% got their raise as they’re stepping on the American worker. Today’s the day that we set the record straight and give opportunity to those who need it the most.” Norcross invoked Henry Ford, who famously paid his workers the highest wages in the automotive industry at the time and said that the act would “give a raise to the people who need it most to survive”.
Norcross echoed the sentiments of other Democrats, who largely framed the passage of the act as a chance to lift people out of poverty and stimulate the economy, while Republican opposition said that the bill would disproportionately affect small businesses and cause job loss, thus harming most those the bill was alleged to benefit. “They’ll spend it right in their neighborhood going to the supermarket, the drugstore,” Norcross said. “They shouldn’t have to make the decision whether or not to put clothes on their kids’ backs or to feed them, but that’s what’s going on today. Those in the top 1% got their raise. It’s time that those who work hard and have the dignity of a job get their raise.”
At the end of his remarks, Norcross made a request to put a letter from the United Steelworkers into the record, which was granted.