Will the federal minimum wage go up to $15 per hour? If President Joe Biden gets his way, it will. Biden recently released details about his $1.9 trillion COVID-relief stimulus package. Overall, the package is designed to provide crush the coronavirus and provide financial relief for Americans struggling during the pandemic. Although it's no surprise that Biden would want to increase the minimum wage, it wasn't expected in this stimulus package.
The president did try to tie the proposal to the pandemic, though. A summary of the plan noted that millions of Americans have put their lives on the line to keep the country running. "Let's not just praise them, let's pay them," it said. In a speech to the nation, Biden also said, "if you work for less than $15 an hour and work 40 hours a week, you're living in poverty."
The tipped minimum wage and sub-minimum wage for people with disabilities would also be eliminated under the Biden plan.
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In a separate executive order, the president also directed the Office of Personnel Management to provide recommendations for promoting a $15-per-hour minimum wage for federal government employees.
The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. President Biden's proposal would more than double that amount. States can have their own minimum wage. They can be higher than the federal amount, but not lower.
Biden's plan also called for an additional round of stimulus checks, extended unemployment benefits, increased tax credits, and more. For more information, see 12 Ways the Biden Stimulus Package Could Put (or Keep) Money in Your Pocket.
Rocky Mengle was a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger from October 2018 to January 2023 with more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, Rocky worked for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, and Kleinrock Publishing, where he provided breaking news and guidance for CPAs, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals. He has also been quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other media outlets. Rocky holds a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.
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