President Obama To Raise Minimum Wage [Details]
President Barack Obama will raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for federal contractors hired in the future, an initiative to be unveiled tonight in his State of the Union address.
“The President is using his executive authority to lead by example, and will continue to work with Congress to finish the job for all Americans by passing the (congressional) bill,” said a White House statement.
Obama delivers his annual State of the Union speech Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.
The minimum wage debate highlights a speech in which Obama is also expected to call on Congress to pass a major immigration bill, and to outline his domestic and foreign policy agendas for the year ahead, including a variety of executive orders.
Obama’s minimum wage order will cover people who are performing services, such as janitors or construction workers, and are making less than $10.10 per hour.
Officials did not estimate how many people might be affected, but it might not be many. The increase will take effect with contracts signed after Obama’s order, and would only apply to contract renewals if other terms of the agreement are changed.
In his address, Obama will also make it clear he is prepared to take executive action in a variety of areas if Congress — including the Republican-run House — does not pass legislation. In addition to the minimum wage, he is expected to announce executive actions on job training and assistance to the long-term unemployed.
“You can be sure that the President fully intends to use his executive authority — to use the unique powers of the office — to make progress on economic opportunity,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney, who declined to discuss details of the speech.
Obama is also expected to discuss pledges his team has solicited from major corporations, asking them not to discriminate against the long-term unemployed.