(CNN) - With much of the focus in Washington centered on foreign policy issues, the White House is touting a domestic issue that’s been central component of the Democrats’ messaging in 2014 - raising the federal minimum wage.
The administration released Tuesday a report entitled: “A Year of Action: Progress Report on Raising the Minimum Wage.” The 11-page document highlights some of the steps taken by state and local leaders and those in the business community to boost the wage to $10.10 an hour, the rate called for by President Barack Obama in his 2013 State of the Union address.
“The train has left the station with a growing number of states, cities and local businesses on board raising the minimum wage,” Jeff Zients, director of the National Economic Council, said on a conference call with reporters addressing the administration’s report.
The political fight over raising the minimum wage was front and center in the early part of 2014.
In February, the President issued an executive order to increase the minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10 an hour, but legislation to achieve a similar outcome has not been successful in Congress. In April a bill to boost the federal minimum wage to $10.10 from its current rate of $7.25 an hour died in the Senate.
Despite the lack of legislative success, Democrats have continued to make the issue a central part of their platform in the 2014 midterm elections.
Democrats argue that raising the wage would have an immediate positive impact on the economy, as low wage workers are likely to spend some of the additional money they would take in as the result of a wage increase.
“When you put money in people’s pockets, they spend it,” Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said Tuesday.
The administration notes in the report that an increase in the federal minimum wage would benefit up to 28 million workers and that a majority of those workers would be women.
Republicans argue that raising the minimum wage could have a negative impact on hiring, hindering an already slow economic recovery.
A report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released in February showed that gradually raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would have mixed results- lifting 900,000 out of poverty but potentially cost around 500,000 jobs- a decrease of about .3% in employment.