- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 14, 2014

Arguing the federal government must do all it can to ensure families are financially secure, President Obama on Saturday used the upcoming Father’s Day holiday to push a minimum-wage hike and other pieces of his economic agenda.

Mr. Obama and allies in Congress have made an increase in the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 a central theme, but the proposal has gone nowhere on Capitol Hill. Still, the White House, aware that the issue could be a political winner for some Democrats facing re-election this fall, uses virtually every opportunity to remind voters that Congress, not the president, is standing in the way of a raise for low-wage workers.

“Because no parent who works full-time should have to raise a family in poverty, it’s time for Congress to follow the lead of state after state, get on the bandwagon and give America a raise,” the president said in his weekly address.

“Dads work hard. So our country should do what we can to make sure their hard work pays off; to make sure life for them and their families is a little less stressful, and a little more secure, so they can be the dads their kids need them to be. Because there’s nothing more precious in life than the time we spend with our children. There’s no better feeling than knowing that we can be there for them, and provide for them, and help give them every shot at success.”

Republicans and many business and retail groups passionately oppose a minimum-wage hike, arguing it will cost jobs and hamper economic growth.

In addition to pushing his economic agenda, Mr. Obama also used the address to tout his My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, designed to help young men stay out of trouble and reach their potential.

“Government can’t play the primary role in a young person’s life. Taking responsibility for being a great parent or mentor is a choice that we, as individuals, have to make,” he said. “No government program can ever take the place of a parent’s love. Still, as a country, there are ways we can help support dads and moms who make that choice.”