WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has increased the minimum wage for a few hundred thousand federal contractors -- and he's pressing Congress to pass broader legislation that would apply to all workers. Obama says, "It's the right thing to do."
During his State of the Union address last month, Obama first announced that he would sign an executive order to boost the wages of some contractors. He signed it today in a White House ceremony, flanked by Americans who would make more money if lawmakers were to take more sweeping action.
The executive order -- which raises the hourly wage from $7.25 to $10.10 -- applies only to a small percentage of the more than 2 million federal contractors. But officials hope it will generate momentum for Obama's proposal for a broader increase in the minimum wage.
Obama said the idea is "good for business, it's good for workers and it's good for the economy."
White House officials say they're working with lawmakers on a legislative strategy to tackle the issue this year. But it's not clear when a bill might be voted on, or whether it would pass.