- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 8, 2014

President Obama said Saturday that congressional Republicans are out of step with Americans on raising the federal minimum wage.

“A clear majority of Americans support raising the minimum wage, because we believe that nobody who works full-time should have to live in poverty,” Mr. Obama said in his weekly address. “About half of all Republicans support raising the minimum wage, too. It’s just too bad they don’t serve in Congress.”

The president said GOP lawmakers don’t want to vote on a Democratic proposal to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10.

“Some [lawmakers] even want to get rid of it completely — seriously,” Mr. Obama said.

Mr. Obama, who is vacationing with his family this weekend in an exclusive private resort in the Florida Keys, said a boost in the minimum wage would give pay raises to 28 million Americans.

“The American people are way ahead of Congress on this issue, and we’ve just got to let Congress know that,” he said. “It’s time for ‘ten-ten.’ It’s time to give America a raise.”

Earlier in the week, Mr. Obama traveled to Connecticut for a campaign-style event with four Democratic governors from New England to call for a hike in the minimum wage. The president noted that some businesses like Costco and the Gap are not waiting for Congress to act, raising the wage for their own employees.

But Republicans point to a report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office stating that raising the minimum wage would result in about 500,000 lost jobs.

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