Obama: Time for Congress to Raise the Minimum Wage

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Feb. 22 2014 11:21 AM

Obama: Time for Congress to Raise the Minimum Wage

President Obama called on Congress to "give America a raise"

Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images

Saturday’s weekly addresses gave a brief glimpse of how each party will try to win over voters ahead of the midterm elections. First, President Obama doubled down on his call for a minimum wage hike, dedicating his weekly address to the issue for a second week in a row. How did Republicans respond? By harping on Obamacare.

Obama once again said that Congress needs to pass legislation to increase the national minimum wage to $10.10 from $7.25. “Because even though our economy is growing, and our businesses have created about eight and a half million new jobs over the past four years, average wages have barely budged,” Obama said. Raising the minimum wage was a key issue in Obama’s State of the Union address, recalls the Hill. Even though big business groups have come out against the minimum wage increase, even releasing an ad that claims it will kill jobs (see below), Obama praised the Gap for raising wages.


“Raising Americans’ wages isn’t just a good deed,” Obama said, “it’s good business and good for our economy. It helps reduce turnover, it boosts productivity, and it gives folks some more money to spend at local businesses.”

The address came after a week in which the issue of increasing the minimum wage took center stage, particularly after the Congressional Budget Office came out with a report claiming that an increase to $10.10 would decrease employment by around 500,000 workers. On Friday, Obama met with Democratic governors, who expressed support for his efforts to hike the minimum wage, noting it would be particularly beneficial to women, reports Time.

Meanwhile, Republicans would rather continue talking about Obamacare. A freshman House Republican delivered the party's weekly address Saturday to say that the health care law is placing an “immoral burden” on future generations.

“President Obama’s policies spend too much money – they’ve irresponsibly added trillions of dollars to our national debt," Rep. Tom Cotton said, according to the Hill. "The debt slows economic growth today and it places an immoral burden on our kids and grandkids." This came a week after Rep. Tom Rooney used the GOP weekly address to “call attention to the devastating impact that Obamacare is having on seniors in Florida and across the country.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.


Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

Even When They Go to College, the Poor Sometimes Stay Poor

Here’s Just How Far a Southern Woman May Have to Drive to Get an Abortion

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy

It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?


Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Watching Netflix in Bed. Hanging Bananas. Is There Anything These Hooks Can’t Solve?

The Procedural Rule That Could Prevent Gay Marriage From Reaching SCOTUS Again

  News & Politics
Oct. 20 2014 3:53 PM Smash and Grab Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?
Oct. 20 2014 5:39 PM Whole Foods Desperately Wants Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 1:10 PM Women Are Still Losing Jobs for Getting Pregnant
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 5:03 PM Marcel the Shell Is Back and as Endearing as Ever
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 4:59 PM Canadian Town Cancels Outdoor Halloween Because Polar Bears
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.