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Congressional Budget Office

Q&A: Driven by protests, US minimum wage vaults onto agenda

The first question in Tuesday's GOP presidential debate — whether the minimum wage should go to $15 an hour — was the starkest evidence yet that U.S. workers have managed to thrust the issue of pay onto the presidential campaign agenda.

More than six years after the Great Recession ended, weak wage gains have helped fuel movements such as the "Fight for $15," whose supporters demonstrated outside the GOP debate in Milwaukee. Their efforts follow earlier proposals by President Barack Obama to raise the minimum to $10.10 an hour from its current level of $7.25.

Demands for higher pay may be resonating with more Americans because typical household...