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Dems want a $12 per hour minimum wage by 2020

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FILE - This March 14, 2013 file photo shows House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., and House Democratic leaders speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. The House Republicans’ campaign committee raised almost $10 million in March and has $31.2 million banked to defend the party’s majority, according to financial reports filed Sunday. The National Republican Congressional Committee’s $21.2 million fundraising haul in January, February and March gave the group its best first-quarter showing since 2003. It also puts the committee roughly $8 million ahead of its fundraising at this point in 2012. From left to right are Democratic Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel, D-N.Y., House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra, D-Calif. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File\n

Democrats in the House and Senate introduced legislation Thursday that would increase the federal minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020, a $4.75 increase from the current $7.25 minimum wage.

"No one who works hard in a full-time job should have to live in poverty," Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said of her bill. "We owe it to workers across the country to make sure our minimum wage is set to a level that works for them and their families."

FILE - This March 14, 2013 file photo shows House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., and House Democratic leaders speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. The House Republicans’ campaign committee raised almost $10 million in March and has $31.2 million banked to defend the party’s majority, according to financial reports filed Sunday. The National Republican Congressional Committee’s $21.2 million fundraising haul in January, February and March gave the group its best first-quarter showing since 2003. It also puts the committee roughly $8 million ahead of its fundraising at this point in 2012. From left to right are Democratic Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel, D-N.Y., House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra, D-Calif. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democrats are pushing for a $12 per hour minimum wage, their latest effort to boost wages for lower-income Americans. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Murray's bill has 32 Senate Democrats on board, and the House version from Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) has 160 cosponsors, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Democrats have clamored for a raise in the minimum wage for the last several years. The last increase came in 2007.

Democratic demands for a higher wage have increased as the years have gone by. Three years ago, Democrats in the House offered a few proposals to boost the minimum wage to about $10 an hour. One bill put forward by more than 100 Democrats called for a $9.80 minimum wage, and would have required 85-cent increases each year for three years to get there.

Last year, progressive Democrats called for a $15 minimum wage, at a time when President Obama had been pushing for a $10.10 minimum.

Republicans have resisted the idea of a minimum wage hike, and have said increasing it would make fewer jobs available at a time when millions of people are still looking for work.

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