MONTPELIER (AP) -- Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is calling on Congress to increase the federal minimum wages to $10.10 per hour.
The independent senator made the call while highlighting that Vermont and a number of other states and municipalities across the country raised their minimum wages. Effective Wednesday, the Vermont minimum wage jumped 13 cents to $8.73 an hour.
"States and communities are not waiting for Congress to raise the minimum wage. They are doing the right thing because the simple truth is that working people cannot survive on the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, or $8 an hour or $9 an hour. If people work 40 hours a week, they deserve not to live in dire poverty," Sanders said in a statement issued Tuesday.
Sanders estimates that raising the minimum wage would create 85,000 new jobs and help lower the federal deficit because fewer people will need federal government services.
In Vermont, the minimum wage for tipped workers increased Wednesday by 6 cents, to $4.23 an hour.