Obama announces he’ll veto $15 minimum wage hike
President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced he will veto a $15-per-hour federal minimum wage increase.
The $15 federal minimum would be the first wage hike since 2010.
“I want to make sure that no American family is left out of the recovery,” Obama said in a speech in his hometown of Chicago.
“And I’m proud to announce today that I’m voting to raise the federal minimum to $15 an hour.”
The White House did not provide an exact number of people it expects to lose their jobs during the hike.
However, the president said it will be in addition to millions of Americans who have been laid off.
“That’s not going to be enough to replace the lost jobs, but it’s a start,” he said.
The president said the $15 increase will make it easier for Americans to buy food and gas.
The minimum wage would not affect people who earn tips or those who are part-time workers.
Obama said that if Congress approves a raise to $13.50 an hour, the wage hike will apply to workers at the same level or higher.
The minimum wage has been raised in the past three years by $1.2 billion and $1 billion in the previous two.
Obama will sign the bill into law at the White House Wednesday afternoon.
“It is time to put the American worker back to work,” Obama told the crowd.
“It is a time to take on big businesses that are exploiting our labor force, and it is a moment to expand the safety net and ensure that every American family has a chance to keep its head above water.”
The president, who will visit an elementary school in Chicago and attend a rally in the Bronx later Wednesday, also said he will sign legislation that provides $1,000 to families who are forced to move.
He also said a $1-a-day cash assistance program will be expanded, and $10 million will be used to expand child care.
“This is a huge win for hardworking Americans,” the president told reporters in Chicago.
He called the wage increase “one of the biggest, most important economic stimulus bills that we’ve ever passed.”
Obama also called for a $2-billion investment in the U.S. military, which he said was needed to meet the threat of climate change.
“Today we’re going to give our troops the weapons they need to protect us from this threat,” he told the rally.
“But I want to do it in a way that is responsible, transparent, and in the best interest of the American people.”
Obama has said he is not worried about the effects of climate-change and said he has made progress on other pressing issues, including gun control and healthcare.
“We can do it,” Obama declared.
“The economy is going to do better, and our people are going to stay here and do better.”
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