By Jueseppi B.
White House Schedule – April 30, 2014
In the afternoon, the President will deliver remarks on the importance of Congress passing legislation to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10, helping to ensure that no American who works full time has to raise a family in poverty. The President’s remarks in the East Room are open press.
Remarks by the President on Raising the Minimum Wage
3:02 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Please have a seat. Good afternoon.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Aloha!
THE PRESIDENT: Aloha. (Laughter.) Got a Hawaiian guy here.
After 14 months since I’ve called on Congress to reward the hard work of millions of Americans like the ones who we have here today to raise the federal minimum wage, we saw this morning a majority of senators saying “yes,” but almost every Republican saying “no” to giving America a raise.
They blocked a bill –- sponsored by Senator Tom Harkin and Congressman George Miller, who is right here in front. (Applause.) A bill that would have gradually raised the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour. By preventing even a vote on this bill, they prevented a raise for 28 million hardworking Americans. They said no to helping millions work their way out of poverty — and keep in mind, this bill would have done so without any new taxes, or spending, or bureaucracy. They told Americans like the ones who are here today that “you’re on your own” -– without even looking them in the eye.
We know these Americans. We depend on them. The workers who’d benefit from a minimum wage increase often work full-time, often in physically demanding jobs. They average 35 years of age. Most low-paying jobs are held by women. But because Republicans in Congress said “no” to even allowing a vote on the floor of the Senate, these folks are going to have to wait for the raise they deserve.
Now the good news is outside of Washington folks aren’t waiting. While Republicans have been deciding whether to even allow a minimum wage bill to even come up for a vote, you’ve seen 10 states and the District of Columbia go ahead and raise theirs. (Applause.) Yesterday, the Hawaii legislature voted to raise their minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Maryland did the same thing earlier this month -– and I know we’ve got some Maryland state legislators here today. Thanks for the good work. (Applause.)
So the actions that have been taken in just four states — Maryland, Connecticut, Minnesota, and Hawaii -– means that over a million workers will see a raise. What’s more, we’ve seen big companies like The Gap, and small businesses — from a pizza joint in St. Louis to an ice cream parlor in Florida — increasingly choosing to raise wages for their employees because they know it’s good business. They know that it means employees are more likely to stay on the job, less turnover. It means that they’re going to be more productive, and customers see the difference. That’s one of the reasons I issued an executive order requiring employees on new federal contracts to be paid a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour. (Applause.)
So Americans have been way out in front of Congress on this issue. In fact, about three in four Americans support raising the minimum wage. And that’s because we believe that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, nobody who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty. That’s a basic principle. (Applause.) And at a time when those at the top are doing better than ever, while millions of Americans are working harder and harder just to get by, that three out of four Americans understands that America deserves a raise.
A few months ago, I got a letter from a woman named Sheila Artis. And Sheila lives in Lilburn, Georgia and at the time she was working two jobs — making $8 an hour at each job. As Sheila wrote, “I do not have days off, I have hours off.” But she kept going to work every day because she wanted to be able to afford college tuition for her daughter. And so she wrote to me and said, “I do not want a pot of gold. All I want is to pay for college and pay my bills in full every month.” That’s all she’s looking for. Doesn’t expect to get wealthy, just wants to be able to pay the bills at the end of every month, be able to act responsibly, meet her responsibilities based on her own hard work.
People like Sheila deserve a fair shot. So far Republicans in Congress disagree. In fact, some of them want to scrap the minimum wage entirely. One House Republican said, “It’s outlived its usefulness. I’d vote to repeal the minimum wage.” A Senate Republican said he doesn’t think the minimum wage helps the middle class.
This is a very simple issue. Either you’re in favor of raising wages for hardworking Americans, or you’re not. Either you want to grow the economy from the middle out and the bottom up so that prosperity is broad-based, or you think that top-down economics is the way to go.
Republicans in Congress have found the time to vote more than 50 times to undermine or repeal the health care bill for millions of working families. Earlier this month, they voted for a budget that would give the wealthiest Americans a massive tax cut while forcing deep cuts to investments that help middle-class families. But they won’t raise wages for millions of working families when three-quarters of Americans support it? That makes no sense. And on top of that, they’ve blocked our efforts to make sure women receive equal pay for equal work. They’ve stood in the way as we’ve fought to extend unemployment insurance for parents who need a little help supporting their families while they’re out looking for work. Republicans have failed to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, and they’ve increasingly failed to do anything when it comes to helping people who work hard get ahead.
If there’s any good news here, it’s that Republicans in Congress don’t get the last word on this or any issue — you do, the American people, the voters. (Applause.) Change is happening, whether Republicans in Congress like it or not. And so my message to the American people is this: Do not get discouraged by a vote like the one we saw this morning. Get fired up. Get organized. Make your voices heard. (Applause.) And rest assured, I’m going to keep working with you and Leader Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress who are here today to raise wages for hardworking Americans. It’s the right thing to do. (Applause.)
If your member of Congress doesn’t support raising the minimum wage, you’ve got to let them know they’re out of step, and that if they keep putting politics ahead of working Americans, you’ll put them out of office. Tell them to reconsider. Tell them it’s time for $10.10. You can tweet at them — use hashtag #1010Means. Let them know how raising the minimum wage would help you, or your family, or somebody that you know. And while you’re at it, tell them to restore unemployment insurance for Americans who are trying to support their families right now while they look for work. (Applause.) Extending this lifeline of unemployment insurance would actually strengthen the economy and create jobs, and give millions of Americans across the country a sense of hope.
In the meantime, I’m going to keep offering my support to every business owner, and mayor, and governor, and county official, and legislator, and organization that’s working to give America a raise. Because change does not come from Washington, it comes to Washington from all the folks out there who are working hard. Americans want the people they send here to set aside the old political arguments and move this country forward. With enough determination and enough persistence, the American people will ultimately win out.
So thank you, God bless you. God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)
3:11 P.M. EDT
3:10 PM: The President delivers remarks on the minimum wage, The East Room.
Senate GOP Blocks Dems’ Minimum Wage Boost
Published on Apr 30, 2014
Senate Republicans blocked an election-year Democratic bill on Wednesday that would boost the federal minimum wage, handing a defeat to President Barack Obama on a vote that is sure to reverberate in this year’s congressional elections. (April 30)
The President’s Trip To Asia: Photos By Mr. Peter Souza
President Obama’s fifth trip to Asia during his time in office will underscore a continued focus on the Asia-Pacific region and commitment to his vision of rebalancing to the world’s largest emerging region. The President’s visit to Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines will focus on our major priorities in the region: modernizing our alliances; supporting democratic development; advancing the Trans-Pacific Partnership and commercial ties; investing in regional institutions; and deepening cultural and people-to-people ties.
Vice President Biden Speaks on Preventing Campus Sexual Assault
Published on Apr 30, 2014
Vice President Biden delivers remarks at an event releasing the first report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. April 29, 2014.
Michelle Obama – Girl Power Tag!
Published on Apr 29, 2014
The amazing Michelle Obama talks Girl Power! Find out what the first lady thinks of Girl Power! #17girlpower
We tag these powerful girls!!
One in five college-aged women is sexually assaulted in college – most often by someone she knows. The Obama Administration is committed to putting an end to this violence, which is why today, the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault released its first-ever report and announced a series of actions to help address the problem and make sure victims know they are not alone.
In addition to helping schools identify the scope of the problem, prevent sexual assault on campus, and respond when a student is assaulted, today’s announcements will also help strengthen federal enforcement efforts and improve and improve government communication with survivors, parents, school administrators, and the public.
To make enforcement data and other sexual assault resources accessible to students and schools, the task force launched a new website, www.NotAlone.gov. On the site, students can learn about their rights, search enforcement data, and read about how to file a complaint. Schools and advocates can find federal guidance on legal obligations, the best research, and relevant legislation.
See what organizations and elected leaders from around the country are saying about today’s announcements.
1 is 2 Many PSA: 60 Second
Published on Apr 29, 2014
President Obama, Vice President Biden, Daniel Craig, Benicio Del Toro, Dulé Hill, Seth Meyers and Steve Carell on putting an end to sexual assault. http://www.whitehouse.gov/1is2many
Carney: Oklahoma Execution Not Done Humanely
Published on Apr 30, 2014
White House spokesman Jay Carney says a botched execution of a death row inmate in Oklahoma fell short of the humane standards required when the death penalty is carried out. (April 30)
Carney Says President Agrees With Sterling Ban
Published on Apr 30, 2014
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said President Barack Obama agreed with the NBA’s ban of Donald Sterling, calling it “the right thing.” (April 30)
News Wrap: Man opens fire at FedEx near Atlanta
Published on Apr 29, 2014
In our news wrap Tuesday, a package handler opened fire at a FedEx sorting center outside Atlanta, wounding six people before taking his own life. Police said the man had explosives, but did not use them. Also, for the third day in a row, violent weather wrought death and destruction in some southern states. Tornadoes have killed at least 33 people since Sunday.
Statements and Releases – April 30, 2014
Statement by the Press Secretary on the President’s Travel to Europe in June 2014
As part of the United States’ ongoing consultations with our allies, President Obama will travel to Poland, Belgium, and France in June 2014. While in Warsaw, the President will hold bilateral meetings and join other world leaders in commemorating the Polish Day of Freedom, marking the 25th anniversary of Poland’s emergence from Communism. From Poland, the President will travel to Brussels for the June 4-5 G-7 Leaders’ Summit, which was moved to Brussels after the G-7 Leaders agreed to cancel the G-8 Summit in Sochi due to Russia’s illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea. The Leaders will discuss their broad shared economic, security, and development agenda and follow up on their March 24 discussion in The Hague on the situation in Ukraine. The President then will continue on to France to participate in commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day. The President appreciates the sacrifices made by our veterans and their families, and he looks forward to honoring them, along with the contributions of all the Allies. Further details will be provided at a later time.
Statement by the President
The Hawaii Legislature did the right thing for their workers by taking action to increase their state’s minimum wage to $10.10. I commend the state legislature and look forward to Governor Abercrombie signing the bill into law soon. Hawaii joins a large and growing coalition of states, cities, counties and businesses that have given their citizens and employees the raise they deserve. This important step in Hawaii is yet another sign that the American people support raising the minimum wage, and I urge Republicans in Congress to follow Hawaii’s lead and lift wages for 28 million Americans. With a Senate vote on this crucial issue planned for today, it’s time for Republicans in Congress to listen to the majority of Americans who say it’s time to give America a raise.
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