President Obama will announce in the State of the Union address Tuesday that he will use his executive power to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for workers on new government contracts, fulfilling a top demand by liberal lawmakers and groups, according to a White House document, the Washington Post reports.
Obama will also renew his call for Congress to pass legislation to raise the federal minimum wage for all workers from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour by 2015. But the president is taking the executive action with no clear timeline for Congress acting on the broader legislation. Previously, the White House said it wanted to concentrate on the legislative route for boosting the minimum wage.
“Hardworking Americans — including janitors and construction workers — working on new federal contracts will benefit from the Executive Order (EO),” the White House said in a statement. “Some examples of the hardworking people who would benefit from an EO include military base workers who wash dishes, serve food and do laundry.”
An estimated 2 million Americans work on federal contracts, though the number of workers receiving the minimum wage would be a fraction of that.