In his first cabinet meeting of the new year, President Barack Obama signaled that he would not wait on Congress to enact desired legislation, saying at the time, “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone.”
And he will be using his pen to sign an executive order to increase the minimum wage for workers under new federal contracts to $10.10 an hour, according to Fox News.
In Tuesday night State of the Union address, Obama will push Congress to increase the federal wage to $10.10 over a three year period, and then index it to inflation, an administration official told Fox News. The plan will include raising the minimum wage for tipped workers.
While the action addressing federal contractors is expected to build momentum for an overall increase, the president can’t force a minimum wage increase for private sector workers.
Obama is acting on a December request from the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which urged him to take the “bold step” of signing an executive order to increase wages for federal contractors, Fox News reported.
“This has always been done legislatively,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said at the time. “And it has been done with support from Republicans and not just Democrats in the past.”
But then, Obama’s approval numbers where in a better place when Carney said that.
And, according to Fox News, the federal minimum wage increase is just “the first of potentially many executive actions tied to” Tuesday’s address to the nation. As Vice President Joe Biden once suggested, it may be time to “gird your loins” America.
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