President Obama pushes for immigration reform, higher wages
Tuesday, January 28, 2014 - 01:55
Jan. 28 - U.S. President Barack Obama uses the State of the Union address to announce his effort to raise minimum wage for federal contractors. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
In his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress, President Barack Obama announced he will once again push Congress to pass immigration reform. He said if the country is serious about economic growth then the country's immigration system needs to be fixed.
He also told the nation's businesses they don't have to wait for Congress to act when it comes to raising employee wages. He says he will lead by example and take steps to raise the minimum wage for new federal contract workers.
(SOUNDBITE) PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING:
"I'm eager to work with all of you. But America does not stand still - and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that's what I'm going to do."
"Independent economists say immigration reform will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almost $1 trillion in the next two decades. And for good reason: when people come here to fulfill their dreams - to study, invest and contribute to our culture - they make our country a more attractive place for businesses to locate and create jobs for everyone. So let's get immigration reform done this year."
"In the coming weeks, I will issue an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally-funded employees a fair wage of at least $10,10 an hour - because if you cook our troops' meals or wash their dishes, you shouldn't live in poverty. Of course, to reach millions more, Congress needs to get on board. Today, the federal minimum wage is worth about twenty percent less than it was when Ronald Reagan first stood here. Tom Harkin and George Miller have a bill to fix that by lifting the minimum wage to $10.10. This will help families. It will give businesses customers with more money to spend. It doesn't involve any new bureaucratic program. So join the rest of the country. Say yes. Give America a raise."
This is the President's fifth State of the Union address.
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