Congressman George Miller (D-CA, 7th District), a senior member on the House of Representatives Education and Workforce Committee, along with 73 of his colleagues has introduced “The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2003” (H.R. 965). The legislation would increase the minimum wage by $1.50 an hour. The legislation is identical to the bill number S.20, “The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2003,” presented in the U.S. Senate by Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD) and 34 of his fellow senators. The Miller bill was introduced on February 27, 2003.  

Both bills provide for an increase in two steps: they raise the minimum wage from its current level of $5.15 an hour to $5.90 sixty days after enactment and raise it to $6.65 one year thereafter.  

The minimum wage has not increased since 1997 and its real value today is 30% below its peak in 1968 and 19% below where it stood in 1981. A full-time minimum wage worker earns $10,712 per year – almost $7,500 below the poverty level for a family of four.  

A fair increase is long overdue. Congress should act as quickly as possible to pass an increase that compensates for the loss in value of the minimum wage since the last increase. This bill is the first step to ensuring that no one who works is forced to live in poverty.  


  Go to and click on “Act Now” and send your representatives an e-mail or a letter urging them to endorse H.R. 965 “The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2003,” sponsored by Rep. George Miller of California.

  To read about other worker rights bills that are awaiting congressional debate, click on the "Issues and Legislation" tab on the Legislative Action Center page and then click on “Current Legislation.”