(CNN) – While President Barack Obama’s attempts to increase the nation’s minimum wage through legislation have stalled in Congress, the White House announced plans on Tuesday to use the president’s executive powers to partially address the problem.
Just hours before the President is scheduled to deliver his fifth State of the Union address, the White House revealed that Obama will issue an executive order to increase the minimum wage for new federal contract workers.
The action will cover all workers employed under future government contracts, ensuring that none is paid less than $10.10 an hour. In a fact sheet announcing the action, the White House highlighted several occupations that will be helped by the move, including kitchen and laundry workers on military bases, as well as janitors at federal buildings and construction workers at government building sites.
An administration official confirmed the action will only apply to new contracts, and the White House believes contractors will have time to factor the new wage requirements into future bids.
Included in Tuesday’s announcement was a call for Congress to pass an increase in the minimum wage nationwide and an endorsement of a proposal put forward by two senior Democrats, Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa and Rep. George Miller of California. The proposal would raise the minimum wage for all workers in stages, ultimately reaching $10.10 an hour, while also indexing the wage floor to inflation going forward.