Forget Congress! Obama Pushes Forward On Federal Workers Minimum Wage Increase

June 14, 2014  |  

He’s done it and he didn’t wait for Congress. President Obama kept his promise to act with or without the cooperation of Congress on minimum wage increases.

According to the White House and Labor Department, there is a new rule guaranteeing workers under federal contracts a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour.

The proposal will increase the wages of hundreds of thousands of low-wage workers employed in government buildings and on federal property nationwide, reports The Huffington Post. The rule will apply to new and renewed federal contracts starting in January 2015.

“The federal government should practice what it preaches on the minimum wage,” Labor Secretary Tom Perez said. “No person who works a full-time job should have to live in poverty.”

Obama had pledged to raise the minimum wage for contract workers during his State of the Union address earlier this year. The Democrats’ agenda includes a boost of the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 and hasn’t been increased since 2009.  “Obama and Democrats in the House and Senate have proposed raising it to $10.10 per hour and tying it to an inflation index. House Republicans, however, have showed no signs of giving the proposal a vote, while Democrats in the Senate still appear short of a filibuster-proof majority on their bill,” reports HuffPo.

According to Cecilia Munoz, director of the White House’s domestic policy council, the executive order would raise wages on military bases, national park lands and in veterans nursing homes as well as for workers throughout the subcontracting chain, whether or not their direct employers hold the federal contract.

“When you hear the president talking about using his pen and his phone to make a difference for middle-class Americans and for those who are working to get into the middle class, this is exactly what he means,” Munoz said.

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