During his State of the Union address on Tuesday, January 28, 2014, President Obama called for raising the minimum wage through an Executive Order to $10.10 for federal contract workers in his State of the Union Address. To give all minimum wage workers a boost, the President also called on Congress to pass the legislation Senator Harkin and Rep. George Miller (D-CA) have introduced to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for all workers. In a speech on the Senate floor, Harkin said the President’s decision to raise the minimum wage for federal workers is a step in the right direction, and pledged to continue to work with the Administration and his fellow members of Congress to raise the minimum wage.
“I applaud President Obama’s bold step to ensure that the federal government is a leader in promoting good jobs that pay fair wages,” said Harkin. “I think most Americans would agree that taxpayer dollars should not support companies that pay poverty wages. But as I know the President would agree, it’s only a first step. Low-wage workers perform some of the most difficult and important jobs in our society – they care for our children and elderly relatives, they make and serve our food, and clean the buildings that we use each day. None of these workers should have to live in poverty, regardless whether they are employed by a federal contractor. That is why it is vitally important for Congress to pass my bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, and to provide for automatic future increases so that minimum wage workers don’t fall behind again. My bill would ensure that 28 million Americans – including the parents of 14 million children –get the raise they deserve, and it would boost our economy by putting more money in the pockets of workers to spend at businesses in their communities. Raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do for our country and for our economy, and I look forward to working with the President moving forward to make this raise a reality for all working Americans.”