- The Washington Times - Monday, February 24, 2014

President Obama on Monday told the nation’s governors they could teach Congress a thing or two about working together to tackle tough issues.

Speaking to a National Governors Association gathering at the White House, the president repeated his pledge to work around Congress through executive action wherever possible this year but said he’s found willing partners in both parties in state capitals across the nation.

“The point is, even when there is little appetite in Congress to move on some of these priorities, at the state level, you guys are governed by practical considerations. You want to do right by your people,” Mr. Obama said during brief remarks before taking part in a private question-and-answer session.

“You see how good policy impacts your citizens and you see how bad policy impacts your citizens. That means there’s less room for posturing and politics and more room for getting stuff done. We want to work with you,” he said.

Specifically, the president applauded states such as California, Connecticut and others which have hiked their minimum wages. Those actions come as legislation in Congress to boost the national minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 remain stalled.

The president has taken executive action to raise the rate to $10.10 for all federal contractors.

Mr. Obama also thanked governors for taking action to jump-start economic growth, to combat climate change and on other fronts.

On Obamacare, the president said governors have played a key role in implementing the system and Republicans who have chosen to expand Medicaid coverage, such as Ohio Gov. John Kasich, deserve credit.

“While Congress talks about repealing the Affordable Care Act, or doing this or doing that to it, places like California and Kentucky are going gangbusters in enrolling more Americans in quality, affordable health care plans,” Mr. Obama said. “You’ve got Republican governors here — I won’t name them in front of the press because I don’t want to get you all in trouble — who have chosen to cover more people” by expanding Medicaid.

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