(WASHINGTON) — A trio of Democratic politicians are about to find out what it’s like to be poor.
Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, Rep. Jan Schkowsky, D-Ill., and Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, announced Monday that they plan to “step into the shoes of a minimum wage worker and live for one week on just $77.”
It’s part of the Live the Wage Challenge starting Thursday— marking the fifth anniversary since Congress last increased the nation’s minimum wage.
From July 24 to July 30, the three politicians will chronicle their experiences on social media in an effort to shed light on the challenges facing minimum wage workers across the country.
A minimum wage of $10.10 pegged to cost-of-living increases would provide Americans who “work hard and play by the rules” a chance at joining the middle class, Ryan said during a call with reporters.
Strickland echoed the congressman’s sentiments, saying that full-time workers should not have to “live in poverty or have to choose between food and electricity every month.”
The federal minimum wage in the United States is currently set at $7.25 an hour — and has not been increased by Congress since 2009. The federal minimum wage for tipped workers has remained at $2.13 an hour since 1991.
According to a statement on its website, “the Live the Wage Challenge has called on elected officials, community leaders, advocates and anyone concerned about the growing inequality in this country to walk in the shoes of a minimum wage worker by living on a minimum wage budget for one week.”
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Paul Menser, Bizmojo Idaho
Carrie Snider, EastIdahoNews.com
Puja Bhattacharjee, CNN
Shelbie Harris, Idaho State Journal