Sanders Sponsors $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage Bill, Pays Interns $12 Per Hour

U.S. Senator and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders introduced the Pay Workers a Living Wage Act on Wednesday, a bill that would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. However, an ad seeking interns on his Senate office’s website offers to pay them only $12 per hour.

A screenshot, seen below, of Sanders’ ad offering to pay $12 per hour to Senate interns shows that it appears directly adjacent to a picture of Sanders speaking at a rally calling for a national $15 hourly minimum wage.


The federal minimum wage has not been raised since 2009. Increasing the minimum wage would directly benefit 62 million workers who currently make less than $15 an hour, including over half of African-American workers and close to 60 percent of Latino workers. If the minimum wage had kept up with productivity and inflation since 1968, it would be more than $26 an hour today,” claimed a press release on the bill by Sanders’ Senate office.

The press release continued, “State and cities are acting on their own. New York’s Wage Board today is expected to approve a new $15 minimum hourly pay for the state’s 200,000 fast food workers. Washington, D.C., and Kansas City, Missouri, are considering raising the wage. Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco already passed ordinances raising their minimum wage to $15 an hour. Twenty-six states already enacted minimum wage increases.

However, Sanders has yet to act on his own by instructing his Senate office to offer a $15 hourly wage. The Atlantic notes that senators set their own policies on pay for interns.

Sanders said in a statement on the bill that “the largest low-wage employer in this country is the federal government” and added, “It is unconscionable that workers in the Senate cafeteria, workers like Charles Gladden who is with us today, make wages so low that they cannot afford to pay the rent.

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