Obama praises Gap stores for raising minimum wage

Politics,White House,Barack Obama,PennAve,Economy,Meghashyam Mali,Minimum Wage,Retail

President Obama on Wednesday praised Gap, Inc., after the clothing retailer announced that they would raise their employees' minimum wage.

“In my State of the Union Address, I asked more businesses to do what they can to raise their employees’ wages,” Obama said in a statement. “Today, I applaud Gap, Inc. for announcing that they intend to raise wages for their employees beginning this year – a decision that will benefit about 65,000 workers in the U.S.”

Reports said Gap would raise its minimum wage to $9 in June of 2014 and up to $10 in June 2015.

Obama has pressed lawmakers to raise the minimum wage to $10.10, but the measure is unlikely to pass the GOP-controlled House, where conservative lawmakers say raising wages could hurt small businesses and hurt job growth.

Obama has made the issue a centerpiece of his push to bolster the middle class and fight income inequality, and earlier this month signed an executive order raising the minimum wage for new federal contract workers.

A report from the Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday, though, said that while a wage hike would help lift more families out of poverty, it would also cost the economy jobs -- a finding the Obama administration disputes.

The president on Wednesday pushed lawmakers to raise the minimum wage for all workers.

“Only action from Congress can make a difference nationwide,” said Obama.

“Right now, there is a bill in front of both the House and the Senate that would boost America’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, and lift wages for more than 16 million workers – all without requiring a single dollar in new taxes or spending,” he said. “It’s time to pass that bill and give America a raise.”

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