Republican Party

Republicans Hint at Legal Response To Obama's Minimum Wage Hike Plan

President expected to announce increase in minimum wage for new federal contract workers

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Republicans concede they cannot stop Barack Obama's plan to increase the minimum wage for federal contract workers but have warned the president they would fight his attempts to circumvent Congress with further executive action in his state of the union speech.

The president is due to announce an increase to $10.10 an hour for new contracts as an attempt to encourage other employers to follow suit, and the symbolic measure amounts to an acknowledgement by the White House that binding national legislation is highly unlikely to pass the GOP-dominated House of Representatives.

It is unclear whether more than a few hundred thousand federal contractors will eventually qualify for the new minimum wage, but poverty campaigners have been urging Obama to take the step under his executive powers as a way of lifting pay standards, particularly in areas with a high concentrations of federal workers such as Washington DC.