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Harkin, Senate Author of Minimum Wage Increase, Welcomes White House Call to Action

President’s State of the Union address tonight will call on Congress to pass Harkin-Miller bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today welcomed the news that President Obama will use his State of the Union address this evening to call for raising the minimum wage through Executive Order to $10.10 for federal contract workers.  He will also call on Congress to finish the job for all workers by passing the bill Harkin and Rep. George Miller (D-CA) have introduced to raise the minimum wage to $10.10.  

“I applaud President Obama’s bold step to ensure that the federal government is a leader in promoting good jobs that pay fair wages.  I think most Americans would agree that taxpayer dollars should not support companies that pay poverty wages.  This Executive Order is a strong step in the right direction, and I am grateful for President Obama’s leadership.  But as I know the President would agree, it’s only a first step.  Low-wage workers perform some of the most difficult and important jobs in our society – they care for our children and elderly relatives, they make and serve our food, and clean the buildings that we use each day.  None of these workers should have to live in poverty, regardless whether they are employed by a federal contractor.  That is why it is vitally important for Congress to pass my bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, and to provide for automatic future increases so that minimum wage workers don’t fall behind again.  My bill would ensure that 28 million Americans – including the parents of 14 million children –get the raise they deserve, and it would boost our economy by putting more money in the pockets of workers to spend in their communities.  Raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do for our contractors, and it is the right thing to do for our country, and I look forward to working with the President moving forward to make this raise a reality for all working Americans.”