ABC’s Brendan Cullerton reports:
President Obama huddled with Democratic governors in Washington on Friday, urging them to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 in each of their states.
“We don’t want somebody who is washing dishes for our troops or helping in some ways to care for them to be living in poverty when they’re working full time,” the president said.
Obama expressed optimism at the White House, which took place as governors of both parties from around the country have descended upon the nation’s capital, that counting on governors to raise the minimum wage would be an effective strategy.
“Many of the governors in this room are pushing to raise their state minimum wages to benefit more working families and help to grow their economies,” the president said. “Governor Abercrombie, Governor Inslee and Governor Malloy, Governor O’Malley, Governor Patrick, Governor Quinn all focused on this in their State of the State addresses.”
But Democrats face stiff opposition from Republican lawmakers on pushing a federal minimum wage hike through Congress. Opponents of the proposal seized on a Congressional Budget Office report earlier this week that predicted a raise to $10.10 would lead to a decrease in about 500,000 jobs. The chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Jason Furman, took issue with that finding, saying that the CBO report does not “reflect the overall consensus view of economists, who have said that the minimum wage would have little or no impact on employment.”
Staunch Republican opposition has forced the president to take alternative action to achieve his goals.
“I’m going to be interested in hearing the efforts of the governors in this room to see what they can do to make sure that America gets a raise,” the president said.
This is not the first tactic Obama has used to circumvent the Congressional process to raise minimum wage. He signed an executive order in January requiring all federal contractors to pay at least $10.10 to workers for all new contracts.