While President Barack Obama’s attempts to increase the nation’s minimum wage through legislation have stalled in Congress, the White House announced plans on Tuesday to use the president’s executive powers to partially address the problem.
Just hours before the President is scheduled to deliver his fifth State of the Union address, the White House revealed that Obama will issue an executive order to increase the minimum wage for new federal contract workers.
The action will cover all workers employed under future government contracts, ensuring that none is paid less than $10.10 an hour. In a fact sheet announcing the action, the White House highlighted several occupations that will be helped by the move, including kitchen and laundry workers on military bases, as well as janitors at federal buildings and construction workers at government building sites.
“The President has embraced the idea in the past that he can use his authority as President and the powers available to the President to advance his agenda on behalf of the American people,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said at his briefing on Monday. “What we have said is that he views 2014 as a year of action and that he has tasked his team to come up with new ways in which we can – he can – advance that agenda.”