Clinton calls for U.S. minimum wage increase to $12 an hour

(Reuters) - U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday at two campaign stops in Iowa that she would like to raise the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour from the current $7.25.

Clinton has said repeatedly she wants to raise wages for working Americans, including by raising the minimum hourly wage, but she has rarely named a specific figure.

“I want to raise the federal minimum wage to $12, and encourage other communities to go even higher,” Clinton told a campaign event in Coralville, Iowa.

“I think we can manage it, and I don’t think there should be any unintended consequences to job creation,” Clinton said at another campaign stop at Grinnell College.

Many U.S. cities and municipalities have established a higher minimum wage than the federal rate. Bernie Sanders, who is Clinton’s chief challenger for the Democratic Party nomination for the 2016 presidential election, has said the federal minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour.

“I’m more comfortable saying let’s get to $12,” Clinton said at Grinnell, “in a reasonable, expeditious way.”

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Reporting By Amanda Becker in Washington; Editing by Sandra Maler and Peter Cooney