Per NBC News, who reported on the legislation early Tuesday morning, it would see the minimum wage lifted to $15 by 2025. The move would begin with $9.50 an hour on the effective date of the Raise the Wage Act of 2021, followed by incremental increases until the final $15 amount is reached an estimated four years after that effective date.
In an interview with the Guardian on Tuesday, Senator Bernie Sanders—who has long pushed for fairer wages and a widespread governmental addressing of the financial problems faced by many Americans—noted the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was further aggravating an already dire economic situation.
"What concerns me as much as anything is that half our people are living paycheck to paycheck," Sanders said. "Millions of people are trying to survive on starvation wages. For me, it's morally imperative that we raise the minimum wage to a living wage that’s at least $15 an hour."
The battle for a $15 federal minimum wage has been going for years. In July of 2019, the House voted to raise the wage to $15, only to have Mitch McConnell—who was then the Senate majority leader—prevent a vote on it.
As Sanders explained, the likelihood of fully landing the $15 minimum wage is now higher thanks in large part to the new Biden administration. Convincing Republicans to throw their weight behind the legislation, however, is expected to remain the chief difficulty.
Biden himself has called for the raise of the minimum wage, which hasn't seen an increase since 2009.