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Monday, February 3, 2014

State of the Union Address: Obama Vows to Use Executive Power to Raise Minimum Wage for Contract Workers

Image is owned by AP Photo / Larry Downing.
Few hours before the U.S. President’s State of the Union address commence, the White House has first laid the President’s plan to raise the federal minimum wage for contract workers.

In its announcement, the White House has declared that Barack Obama’s plans to use his executive power to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to 10.10 an hour for federal contract workers, and then bind the raise to future inflations.

The White House’s announcement has guaranteed that Obama will take advantage of his State of the Union address to call on the Congress to pass a bill that would apply the minimum wage increase to existing workers.

Roughly two million employees whose jobs are supported by federal currency may be affected by the executive order.

Apparently, the said use of executive order to raise the federal minimum wage is part of Obama’s previous promise to help workers and end income inequality. 

In fact, just a few days before the President’s State of the Union address, a group of Pentagon workers staged a protest in an aim to remind Obama about the said promise he made during his first cabinet meeting this year.

Meanwhile, several Republicans on the other hand called the recent proposal a “constitutional violation”.

“We have a minimum wage. Congress has set it. For the president to simply declare, ‘I’m going to change this law that Congress has passed,’ is unconstitutional. He’s outside the bounds of his Article II limitations,” Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said in his brief statement on CNN.

So far, the current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour and the same has not been raised for about five years. Thus, such an increase can be considered a huge victory in the work force. 

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