President Obama now officially supports raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, higher than his earlier proposal of raising it to $9. From the New York Times:
The White House has thrown its weight behind a proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to at least $10 an hour.
“The president has long supported raising the minimum wage so hard-working Americans can have a decent wage for a day’s work to support their families and make ends meet,” a White House official said.
President Obama, the official continued, supports the Harkin-Miller bill, also known as the Fair Minimum Wage Act, which would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, from its current $7.25.
The cynic in me must point out Obama only supported this higher minimum wage once it became clear that nothing Obama supported was going to move through Congress this term. There is probably no way this bill will get passed in the Republican controlled House, so Obama gets a free pass to say he supports a popular sounding policy. After all, Democrats could have done this in 2009, but didn’t.
That said I still think it is a good thing Obama has come out in support of this higher minimum wage and I’m glad he has. While there is very good chance Obama will never sign this bill into law, his support help makes raising the minimum wage to $10.10 the de facto position of the Democratic Party. Long-term that helps nudge the politics around this issue to the left.