President Barack Obama (pictured) continues his fight for the values of middle class workers, turning his focus on working with Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. Last year, Democrats Sen. Tom Harkin and Rep. George Miller introduced the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013. Although the president has been patient, he is reportedly set to issue an Executive Order to make this change happen.
According to the Obama administration, raising the minimum wage will provide a good value to the federal government, boost worker morale, decrease turnover, and improve the quality of government services. Focusing intently on the hard work of federal contract workers the government relies on for short- to- long-term goals, there is proof that raising the hourly wage could provide some immediate benefits.
Maryland, which raised its hourly wage rate for contract workers, had more contractors enter in to bids thus sparking healthy competition and improving quality of services. All new federal contracts after the issuing of Executive Order will have to pay the new rates, so they can adjust their bids and budgets ahead of time.
Federal contract workers aren’t the only persons to benefit from this new push from the White House. The President wants to see the wage raised for all Americans to $10.10 and the passing of the Harkin-Miller bill will see to it that it happens, along with adjustments made for inflation. Those who work for tips, such as servers and bartenders, will also see their minimum wage rates raised as well, which marks for the first time in 20 years that’s happened.
To help put it in perspective, the Obama administration put forth numbers, saying that a full-time worker that makes the current minimum wage of $7.25 only earns $14,500 per year. Even with the assistance of the Earned Income Tax Credit, a family of four living on those wages are still below the poverty line.
President Obama has been active in his call to raise the minimum wage, doing so in his State Of The Union address last year. Across the country, there is a call from state and local districts to raise the minimum wage in order to make ends meet for hard-working Americans. Since President Obama’s call for action last year, five states have raised their minimum wage rate and several businesses see the value in rewarding their employees with higher wages as well.