Policy: Labor

Obama blasts GOP for blocking minimum wage bill

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Politics,White House,Congress,Brian Hughes,Barack Obama,Jobs,Labor,PennAve,Economy,Minimum Wage

President Obama ripped into Senate Republicans Wednesday for blocking a bill that would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour.

Earlier Wednesday, in a 54-42 vote, the bill failed to meet the threshold to avoid a filibuster in the Senate.

And Obama was quick to frame Republicans as out of touch with the middle class, an argument that will serve as the centerpiece of the Democratic pitch to voters ahead of the 2014 midterms.

"By preventing even a vote on this bill, they prevented a raise for 28 million hardworking Americans,” Obama said.

“They told Americans, 'you're on your own' — without even looking them in the eye,” the president added.

Republicans counter that increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would kill jobs, citing a recent Congressional Budget Office survey that found the legislation would decrease the number of those with full-time jobs by 500,000.

And the White House push for an increase in the minimum wage comes just hours after it was revealed the economy grew by just 0.1 percent in the first quarter.

The White House knew the Senate bill had virtually no chance of passage but sees the fight as politically beneficial.

“It's a very simple issue. Either you're in favor of raising wages for hard-working Americans or you're not,” Obama said from the White House.

"My message to the American people is this: Don't get discouraged by a vote like the one we saw this morning,” he added. “Get fired up."

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