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President Obama delivers remarks at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials’ Annual Conference.

President Barack Obama will sign an executive order Wednesday afternoon raising the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour. The order will do for hundreds of thousands what congressional Republicans are refusing to do for millions more Americans currently working at the poverty-level federal minimum wage of $7.25. Since the executive order only governs future contracts, current workers won't see a raise, at least until the contracts they work under are renewed or revised. But the order covers some groups often left out of improvements in minimum wage law; according to a White House release, it:

  • Includes an increase in the tipped minimum wage. This executive order also includes provisions to make sure that tipped workers earn at least $10.10 overall, through a combination of tips and an employer contribution. Employers are currently required to pay a minimum base wage of $2.13 per hour, a base that has remained unchanged for over twenty years, and if a worker’s tips do not add up to the minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference. Under the Executive Order, employers are required to ensure that tipped workers earn at least $10.10 an hour. The Executive Order requires that employers pay a minimum base wage of $4.90 for new contracts and replacements for expiring contracts put out for bid after January 1, 2015. That amount increases by 95 cents per year until it reaches 70 percent of the regular minimum wage, and if a worker’s tips do not add up to at least $10.10, the employer will be required to pay the difference.
  • Covers individuals with disabilities. Under current law, workers whose productivity is affected because of their disabilities may be paid less than the wage paid to others doing the same job under certain specialized certificate programs. Under this Executive Order, all individuals working under service or concessions contracts with the federal government will be covered by the same $10.10 per hour minimum wage protections.
Obama is also using the signing of this raise for federal workers to push Congress to do the same for the overall federal minimum wage; the White House notes that "Last year alone, workers earning the minimum wage basically got the equivalent of a $200 pay cut because the minimum wage stayed the same while the cost of living went up." But Republicans in Congress continue to block action on a minimum wage increase, despite strong popular support.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 05:15 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Yep, there's (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ODS results in Obama's amazing ability to humiliate his biggest critics, on the right and the left.

      by NoFortunateSon on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 06:06:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dems in States With Tight.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharon Wraight, TofG, TomFromNJ

      U. S. Senate races need to get propositions on the ballot  this fall to raise the minimum wage to help bolster turnout in Senate races where Dems are having a tough time.

      All of this is a broad strategy orchestrated by the White House and party officials, per an article from the New York Times:


      In a series of strategy meetings and conference calls among them in recent weeks, they have focused on two levels: an effort to raise the federal minimum wage, which will be pushed by President Obama and congressional leaders, and a campaign to place state-level minimum wage proposals on the ballot in states with hotly contested congressional races.

      With polls showing widespread support for an increase in the $7.25-per-hour federal minimum wage among both Republican and Democratic voters, top Democrats see not only a wedge issue that they hope will place Republican candidates in a difficult position, but also a tool with which to enlarge the electorate in a nonpresidential election, when turnout among minorities and youths typically drops off.

      “It puts Republicans on the wrong side of an important value issue when it comes to fairness,” said Dan Pfeiffer, the president’s senior adviser. “You can make a very strong case that this will be a helpful issue for Democrats in 2014. But the goal here is to actually get it done. That’s why the president put it on the agenda.”

      You can read the article here:

      "The quote on the Statue of Liberty doesn't say 'give me your english-speaking only, Christian-believing, heterosexual masses'

      by unapologeticliberal777 on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 07:34:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If he can raise wages for federal contract workers (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mwh191, Sharon Wraight, TofG, dkmich

    could he limit salaries for federal contract company officers?

  •  You know who else raised the minimum wage? (6+ / 0-)

    Hitler.  That's right.  I heard it on Glen Beck...

    Recommended by:
    laurnj, Sharon Wraight, shmuelman, Matt Z

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 06:21:42 AM PST

  •  Great news ... I love the pressure (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, Elizaveta, TomFromNJ, cks175

    that the White House is putting on red state Governors (ACA/Medicaid Expansion) and Congressional reps (minimum wage) who are blocking change at every turn.

    Great to see that the President is finally coming through for us, wielding Executive power unilaterally to change the narrative.

    Perhaps there is hope after all.

    "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

    by annan on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 06:34:29 AM PST

  •  Obama is doing an end-run around the Republicans (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, shmuelman, TofG, TomFromNJ

    To make an impact directly on the average American. If Democrats can highlight the fact that we care for the average American, we can make major gains in the 2014 and 2016 elections.  

    "For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it." - President Barack Obama, Second Inaugural Address, January 21, 2013.

    by surfermom on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 06:39:59 AM PST

  •  Now, end the pay freeze for Federal workers n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Liberty" is a living wage. "Freedom" is not worrying about your medical bills.

    by billybam on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 06:52:47 AM PST

  •  Raising the wage (5+ / 0-)

    If people make more money, they don't to rely on those costly, socialist Government programs that Republicans are always whining about.  This is where the Republicans falter - they can't have it both ways.  You can't pay below living wages and then remove the safety net for those making below living wages.  You need to raise wages in order to reduce 'reliance' on Government programs.

    Raise the wage; increases spending power for the lower class to help stimulate the economy; reduce need for Government assistance due to higher incomes; reduce the deficit and spending at the same time.  It's a no brainer... and it needs to be a major tenant of the Dem platform for 2014.

  •  Obama signs the order... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...and TYRANNY DESCENDS...

    Poor, poor Teabaggers. Not even the well-known plight of the 'conservative' Christian Right can claim such a pity party these days.

    I know! Let's all think of something new to FORCE DOWN THEIR THROATS...

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 07:18:16 AM PST

  •  The House has already voted on the minimum wage. (0+ / 0-)

    As an amendment to the SKILLS Act. Therefore, it is incorrect to state that Boehner is blocking a vote because he already allowed one on the minimum wage. If anything the Senate hasn't debated the minimum wage yet.

    Here's the House vote:

  •  Third world working conditions. (0+ / 0-)

    I had a revelation reading this article.  The representatives of big business (GOP) actually believe without hesitation that the squalor working conditions in third world nations are actually desirable.  That realization will sound inane to some.  But keep in mind that my innocent little brain always believed that no one in their right mind would wish that kind of suffering on anyone.  I always believed that big business was forced to use cheap labor due to competition.  Not because they actually thought it was a great idea to begin with.  That is so perverted.

    What's the difference between the Federal government and organized crime? One's legally sanctioned.

    by FrankenPC on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 08:44:39 AM PST

  •  Could be a down side on this (0+ / 0-)

    The new law requires contractors to pay people that have disabilities the same minimum wage when before the law said a contractor could pay less to an employee that could not produce what others could because of a disability.  

    I hope this doesn't cause people with disabilities to be considered "less employable" by contractors and not be as likely to get employment.  

    Yes, that would be illegal if that could be proven but the litigation process involved and so forth would be difficult I think.

  •  The President could start encouraging Colleges (0+ / 0-)

    and Universities to raise the amount paid to students working under a Federal work study contract to a least the minimum for Federal contractors. He would not need Congress to do it, and he is already doing something similar for business that do it voluntarily, for example, his in person praise of Costco.

    Many voters don't know government contractors or think of Blackwater when they hear government contractors. Just about all voters know someone who was or who might be a federal work-study student.

    All I'm asking for is a statement in favor of it.

  •  This is outrageous (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If Obama keeps this up, he will begin to look like a president, who cares about the American people, while the GOP congress remains mired in its inability to get anything done for the American people.  If he keeps this up, he will make republicans everywhere look bad.  No wonder republicans don't trust him.

  •  Progressive Curmudgeon (might be the weather?) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    I read this in a previous post on this thread:
    "If Democrats can highlight the fact that we care for the average American"
    (In relation to election strategy.)

    The facts poorly support that assertion.

    -Why did Prez wait 5 years to do this?
    -1968 inflation adjusted MinWage is 18bucks - 23 if productivity is added.  10.10 constitutes caring????
    -Why are most Dems not putting forth a better argument*?

    I signed the Boner petition for 10.10, but I was embarrassed to do so.  10.10 are you fucking kidding me?  We're arguing over what scraps of gristle will be tossed off the table while the hoarded prime rib roast is gorged upon by bloated 1%ers.

    Question: Why do Right Wing Dems play Surrender Monkey BEFORE they get to the bargaining table??
    Answer: Because they are the 1%ers "Plan B".  That's why the 1%ers pay Right Wing Democrats.  If 1%ers can not continue to loot the country in the light of day (Plan A, aka Republicans/Teabaggers Supply-Side Scam), then "Plan B" is to grapple in the spotlight with a half, hell a quarter, measure and bargain back, with lots and lots of fanfare, to near nothing.  At what point do we agree that ain't an accident or incompetence; that's the Right Wing Democrats' Plan?

    *If Democrats were serious about being the champions of Working People they would put forth an argument that might go like this.

    Hoarding is wrong.
    Hoarding is wrong.  It's just plain wrong.  Everyone knows it.  Elementary school kids know it.  Hoarding hurts our country.  It hurts our economy.  It hurts our children.  Hoarding hurts some one you love.

    Every single time the minimum wage has increased our economy has expanded and allowed the dignity of self-sufficiency to flourish in our neighborhoods and on Main Street.  Simultaneously the need for nutrition and rental assistance is reduced and revenues increase.
    --Several more fact based sentences highlighting Demand-Side Economics.--

    Big Moneyed Interests game our political system to help them hoard even more, but it doesn't have to be this way.  Money can not buy facts; money can not buy your vote.  You're smarter than that and you're more honorable than that.
    --Write, organize, vote, whatever fits the situation.--

    •  Your facts are wrong (0+ / 0-)
      1968 inflation adjusted MinWage is 18bucks - 23 if productivity is added
      No, the inflation adjusted minimum wage in 1968 was not $18.  In fact, it was close to the $10.10 that Obama is proposing.

      As for your "he had five years to do this", by that line of thinking, any president who doesn't get everything done in his first two years obviously doesn't really care.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 11:08:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I read in the last few days the 18bucks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Oh Mary Oh

        but I can not find it now, so either I'm crazy or something.  Point taken.

        Having said that, inflation + productivity = 22bucks (not 23)
        1/2 productivity + inflation = 15 1/2 bucks

        To your point about "any president who doesn't..."
        Inequality is caustic.  Caustic to working people and to our Democracy itself.  It's messing with our budget (think Walmart & McDonalds employees here that have to draw public funds)  I think it is absolutely fair to criticize the president for de-prioritizing the living wage issue for five years.  This was an executive order, Fed contracts only,  that don't take much time and pushes the issue.  Here's a few things that he felt were more urgent - and they took an act of congress:
        --Digital TV Delay Act
        --Cash for Clunkers
        --Haiti Aid
        --Travel Promotion Act
        --Iran Sanctions Act
        --Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act
        --Columbia, Panama, South Korea Free Trade
        Addressing income inequality aught to rank in there somewhere, no?  This ain't a new problem and it has been hampering our economy and our Democracy terribly.

  •  Whats up with Prevailing Wage? Stunt Stuff? (0+ / 0-)

    OK am I the only one to miss this or am wrong.  I have always heard that Federal Contracts require payment of what is known as prevailing wages.  Prevailing wages include union wages paid within the area of the contract so that the average (the prevailing wage) is always more than minimum wages and is much hated by industry but then they aren't about to turn down federal dollars.  

    If that is so why is this not a stunt?  It seems to me that this will effect very few people and is at best a political stunt?  I hope I'm wrong.

    A bad idea isn't responsible for those who believe it. ---Stephen Cannell

    by YellerDog on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 10:14:06 PM PST

  •  Does the executive order include grants? (0+ / 0-)

    Heard a story this morning on our NPR station in Tampa (I think it was a local story) where some republican voters were happy with Obamacare.  One was a woman who had lost a job with benefits but had been able to secure a job working on a grant without benefits.  

    It would seem to me that the government could - by executive order - require that any company or organization pay $10.10 per hour to all employees and force them to push this down to subcontractors.  

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