Federal Minimum Wage Debate Continues With Biden Administration : Consider This from NPR Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour is one of President Biden's priorities with the newest COVID-19 relief package. But Republicans say it will hurt small businesses too much and some swing voting Democrats are hesitant too.

The history of the minimum wage in the U.S. is tied closely to civil rights. Ellora Derenoncourt, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, says one theme of the 1963 March on Washington was a call for a higher minimum wage.

Many states have a higher minimum wage than the federally mandated $7.25. Arindrajit Dube from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst discusses how those states have fared.

In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

Life On Minimum Wage: Why The Federal Debate Continues

Life On Minimum Wage: Why The Federal Debate Continues

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Striking McDonald's restaurant employees lock arms in an intersection before being arrested. They had walked off the job to demand a $15 per hour wage and union rights during nationwide Fight for $15 Day of Disruption protests on Nov. 29, 2016 in Los Angeles. David McNew/Getty Images hide caption

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David McNew/Getty Images

Striking McDonald's restaurant employees lock arms in an intersection before being arrested. They had walked off the job to demand a $15 per hour wage and union rights during nationwide Fight for $15 Day of Disruption protests on Nov. 29, 2016 in Los Angeles.

David McNew/Getty Images

Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour is one of President Biden's priorities with the newest COVID-19 relief package. But Republicans say it will hurt small businesses too much and some swing voting Democrats are hesitant too.

The history of the minimum wage in the U.S. is tied closely to civil rights. Ellora Derenoncourt, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, says one theme of the 1963 March on Washington was a call for a higher minimum wage.

Many states have a higher minimum wage than the federally mandated $7.25. Arindrajit Dube from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst discusses how those states have fared.

In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

This episode was produced by Brianna Scott, Vincent Acovino, Andrea Hsu, Alejandra Marquez Janse, Sam Gringlas, Brent Baughman and Lee Hale. It was edited by Sami Yenigun and Jolie Myers with help from Wynne Davis. Our executive producer is Cara Tallo.