President Obama on Monday praised the Maryland legislature for voting to raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 and said the example should be followed nationwide.
“I applaud Governor [Martin] O’Malley and the state legislature for leading by example and giving more Maryland workers the raise they deserve. But there’s only one group who can get the job done for the entire country — that’s Congress,” the president said in a statement. “They should follow Maryland’s lead and lift wages for 28 million Americans by passing legislation to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10.”
Maryland is the second state to approve such an increase this year. Last month, Connecticut also raised its minimum wage to $10.10.
The administration has made raising the nation’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 a top priority, but the proposal has met stiff resistance from congressional Republicans and many business and retail groups.
In lieu of federal action, the president has urged states to act on their own. He’s also calling on more private companies to voluntarily raise their workers’ salaries.
Earlier this year, Mr. Obama signed an executive order mandating that all federal contractors be paid $10.10.