Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) previewed the President’s State of the Union address on the House Floor, urging his colleagues and the President to take up the challenge of the growing inequality gap, first by extending emergency unemployment insurance for those still looking for work, and raising the minimum wage:
“We should never seek to punish success or, as some describe it, ‘soak the rich,’ but we must take steps to address the problem of growing inequality, both in the short-term and over the longer-term as well. I believe that there are two things that Congress and the President can do to give Americans in the middle and those who aspire to join it the chance to move up.
“First, we need to extend emergency unemployment assistance for those who are still looking for work and cannot find a job on their own. The weekly litany of those who are losing benefits is disheartening – we must not turn our back on our fellow Americans. Second, we need to raise the minimum wage nationwide and it is shameful that it has been five years since the last increase. In fact, according to one study, the minimum wage today is actually worth $2 less than in 1968. Raising the minimum to just over $10 as I support, would push millions of hard-working Americans out of poverty and stimulate economic activity throughout the country…
“Tonight the President will challenge us to join him in an effort to reinvigorate the American Dream for another generation. Let us join him in that sacred task.”
Watch the speech below, or click here: