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Bernie Sanders Promises to Raise Minimum Wage Faster Than Bernie Sanders Will

Independent Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders made a head-scratching promise when he said that as president, he would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour a good three or four years faster than the minimum wage bill that’s been introduced by … Bernie Sanders.

On Monday, Sanders held what was billed as a town hall with immigrant workers in Vista, California, and he was asked about a minimum wage bill that recently passed the House.

“A few weeks ago in the House, the bill to raise the wage to $15 an hour passed, and I think it’s to raise it by like 2022, so say Mitch McConnell does actually let it go in the Senate and it passes,” a young woman asked, to laughter from the crowd, “when you become president, are you going to make it, like, before 2022 that we reach…”

“Yes, yes,” Sanders said, then added “Yes, the House bill became, in order to get some of the votes that they needed, they had to even push it back a little bit more.”

“Look, at the end of the day, especially in communities where rents are so high and housing is so hard to come by, even 15 bucks an hour is not much, is it?” Sanders continued. “No, so what we’re trying to do as quickly as we can establish $15 as the minimum, but I hope that we can go higher than that in years to come.”

Sanders is correct that the House bill actually phases in the $15 minimum wage over a period of six years, but the bill that Sanders himself introduced in the Senate wouldn’t reach $15 bucks an hour until five years after the effective date of the bill.

So if McConnell were to allow a vote on either bill, the earliest effective date would be December of this year, meaning that it would be 2024 before Sanders’ bill reached $15, and 2025 for the House bill.

At the town hall, Sanders didn’t say how he would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour before 2022, but without a magic wand, he would need to pass a minimum wage bill with a faster timetable than the one Bernie Sanders has proposed.

Watch the clip above, via Bernie Sanders for President.

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