April 30th, 2014
04:23 PM ET
4 months ago

Obama slams GOP over minimum wage vote

Washington (CNN) - A day after returning from his trip to Asia, President Barack Obama swung back into mid-term campaign mode in a fiery attack on Senate Republicans who blocked a bill to raise the minimum wage Wednesday .

"If your member of Congress doesn't support raising the minimum wage, you gotta let them know they're out of step and if they keep putting politics ahead of working Americans, you'll put them out of office," Obama said.

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The President's comments came just hours after nearly the entire Senate GOP caucus voted in support of a filibuster thwarting a Democratic-led measure to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

In a campaign style event at the White House, the President introduced the new Twitter hashtag #1010means to encourage Democrats to take the fight over the minimum wage on to social media.

"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, get your voices heard."

Republicans argue raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would damage the nation's fragile recovery. Several GOP lawmakers took note of fresh economic data released Wednesday indicating the economy grew at a sluggish 0.1% in the first quarter of 2014.

"They seem to think they can coast on talking points and stale ideas – and that the American people haven't been paying attention to their recent dismal record at actually helping the people they claim to care about," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said.

In his remarks on the failed vote in the Senate, Obama made a pitch to restore emergency unemployment benefits and assailed Republicans for their attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, two key Democratic lines of attack for the upcoming mid-term elections.

President signs executive order on minimum wage

Minimum wage state by state

The President also praised states that have raised the minimum wage on their own, including Hawaii, Connecticut and Maryland.

Following Obama's speech, supporters chanted "raise the wage," giving the White House event even more of a campaign feel.


Filed under: Minimum wage • President Obama • Senate
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    Members of congress have no idea what it is to live on $12,000 a year (before taxes) like so many people do and why they need two or three jobs to make ends meet.
    Heck, the "Moron" from VA and a democrat to boot thinks congress should receive a $25 per diem because a lot of them are living in their offices. Aaaaaaawwwwww, NOT!
    Can't say I feel sorry for these pampered politicians when so many Americnas and seniors are living in homeless shelters or in cardboard boxes with no food or money.

    May 1, 2014 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  2. Scott

    Higher min wage means less jobs. If i am an employer and am forced to pay higher wages. then I will have to find ways to cut back on expenses. Some of the ways i might do it is lay off people, run with a min workforce, or cut back on benefits to pay for the increase wages. So even thou the wages are increased they would get less hours or no benefits. Bottom line be happy with what you get payed, things could be a lot worse.

    May 1, 2014 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  3. king

    The repubs mission of sucking out the money out of our economy, and give to the rich so they can build up China is scandalous, too bad the hatred they have for this president, has blinded them into obscurity. We are in trouble folks

    May 1, 2014 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
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