If a Democrat wins the White House this November, it looks like a $15 federal minimum wage has a chance at becoming reality — regardless of whether it's Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton.
Sanders has long been vocal about wanting a $15 minimum wage for all hourly workers, but while Clinton has voiced support for the Fight for $15 labor movement, her official position has been that she supports raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $12. Until last night's Democratic primary debate, that is.
Sanders, whom many are declaring the winner of the debate, went on the offensive and attacked Clinton on the minimum wage issue after she stated that she supports the Fight for $15.
"I am sure a lot of people are very surprised to learn that you supported raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour," Sanders stated, pointing out, "When this campaign began, I said that we’ve got to end the starvation minimum wage of $7.25, raise it to $15. Secretary Clinton said let's raise it to $12."
Then, asked by moderator Wolf Blitzer if she'd sign a $15 minimum wage bill if it crossed her desk, she responded affirmatively. As Vox points out, this is a huge win for the labor movement: "[Sanders] — along with the grassroots Fight for 15 movement — had successfully convinced the living embodiment of establishment Democratic politics to sign into law a $15-an-hour national minimum wage."
Clinton has also previously called for an end to tipped wages, earlier this month proclaiming that America is the "only industrialized country in the world that requires tipped workers to take home their income in tips, instead of wages."
While supporters of the $15 minimum wage argue that such a pay increase would lift millions of workers out of poverty, many worry that such a dramatic hike could actually result in the loss of jobs.