Ahead of his fifth State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday night, President Barack Obama will issue an executive order to raise the minimum wage for new federal contract workers, according to multiple reports.
The executive order will ensure that all federal workers employed under future government contracts do not make less than $US10.10 an hour, according to the reports.
The executive order partially addresses an issue on the top of Obama’s agenda — and it signals, as the White House has said, that he is willing to go around Congress when he feels it is necessary.
The idea had been championed and pushed by progressive Democrats in Congress.
“Too many Americans work full-time for federal contractors and live in poverty,” Rep. Keith Ellison, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said in a statement last week. “The federal government should not lead a race to the bottom by funding jobs that pay poverty wages. We need President Obama to lead the race to the top and sign an executive order today to raise the pay of two million working Americans.”
Leading up to the State of the Union address, the White House has promised that Obama plans to get things done himself if Congress won’t work with him — through executive action, or, as he and his advisers like to put it, through a “pen and a phone.”
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