April 30th, 2014
04:23 PM ET
9 years 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.

[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker']twitter-follow screen_name='JimAcostaCNN']

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. Sniffit

    "why don't the democrats just mandate a $100,000/year salary for every person? we would eradicate poverty with the stroke of a pen, right?
    I understand you are asking a rhetorical question to prove a point. I do not think our liberal friends get it."

    No, we get it. He's just making an absurdist, hyperbolic, slippery-slope straw man argument that evinces a total lack of understanding of economics and the economy, so we don't really feel the need to respond explaining away his mindless, tinfoil hatted regurgitation of Limbaugh-esque talking point drivel over and over and over again. There no real fix for the kind of gleeful wallowing in willful ignorance that he displays.

    April 30, 2014 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  2. Bob Joe

    raising the minimum wage would be a bad thing. Sniffit of course Krugman agrees with the idea, he is a liberal

    April 30, 2014 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  3. drowlord

    This should get the 4.7% of Americans making minimum wage nice and angry. Too bad every adult making minimum wage is already an angry Democrat, and making a campaign issue of this topic won't change anybody's allegiance. I guess it might scare away the people who aren't making minimum wage, since they're the people who stand to lose money in this deal.

    April 30, 2014 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  4. Kelvin R

    let's not raise the minimum wage, so Walmart, Macdonald etc. that don't pay living wages can continue to be subsidized by gov't food stamps.

    April 30, 2014 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  5. Tim Fotinos

    Hers an idea for those who feel a raise in the minimum wage will harm business. Lets have a MAXIMUM wage/ salary so no one gets compensated more tha, oh, say $290,000. Any more than that must be reinvested in capital, sent to share holders, passed on to customers in terms of lower prices, or as a last resort paid in taxes. If less compensation of employees is better for business, less start at the top, shall me?

    April 30, 2014 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  6. Bridget Sheerin

    Will never again vote for a republican

    April 30, 2014 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  7. Toto-ks

    All min. Wage workers need to strike all at once. Ha. Make the govt. Shutdowns look like school recess. We direly need a new political party. And to be called the AMERICAN PARTY, OF THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE. It is impossible to detain the backbone of America, millions of minimum wage slaves of EVERY race color and creed.What? Call us all terrorists and zap the patRIOT act and homeland SCAREcurity on us? Mr. President. Slam some Democratic BIG GOVT. NOW! NATIONALIZE A MINIMUM RAGE!

    April 30, 2014 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  8. Jim Jimson

    Go and read a few economics texts – from any part of the political spectrum. The vast majority (ex Krugman of course) will confirm that artificial increases in wages drive out jobs and reduce the net amount of wages in the economy.

    April 30, 2014 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  9. rs

    Cue the complaining from the Right that "this is just politicking and the Dems don't rally care about the poor". Face it, either the GOP continues it's game playing ("we're against it because the President wants it") which is reprehensible, or, the GOP is simply demonstrating it's disregard for low-wage working Americans. Which, again is reprehensible.

    Certainly, they could fix those impressions by actually doing something for America- like raising the minimum wage.

    April 30, 2014 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  10. rs


    @just asking
    why don't the democrats just mandate a $100,000/year salary for every person? we would eradicate poverty with the stroke of a pen, right?
    I understand you are asking a rhetorical question to prove a point. I do not think our liberal friends get it.
    Oh, we get it- you're attempting a "funny" about poverty in America, and the GOP's inability to do anything.
    Got it!

    April 30, 2014 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    Amazing the level of paranoia from the Obama haters today. No one is advocating people be paid $100 per hour, but apparently the GOP feels that enabling people to work and survive on $10.10 per hour places an undue burden on their Billionaire puppeteers. This wage is a survival wage, barely better than being on unemployment. No one is going to get rich off of min wage, but you would swear that the Obama administration is egging on mobs with regards to this. Its actually funny, reading the level of hysteria coming from the professional hater class today. Between this, Cliven Bundy and the Clippers owner, its not a good week for the whack-job chorus.

    April 30, 2014 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  12. rs

    So, let's see if I have this right:

    The GOP won't raise the minimum wage now (although they did so happily under Bush), which will keep low-wage workers poor, which will require them to stay on public assistance (i.e. "Welfare" and food assistance), but the GOP claims it is against "addicting people to government programs", Right?

    Logic FAIL.

    April 30, 2014 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  13. Ancient Texan

    Minimum wage increase will result in fewer workers at that wage level and will put a burden on the employer that is already struggling to make ends meet. If he raises the wages of the lowest paid, then he must raise everyone else that has been with the employer longer and been loyal through tough times. This whole discussion is strictly an election year ploy and the Dems know that it won't pass, but want to use it for embarrassing the GOP.

    April 30, 2014 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  14. Lisa

    Here is one simple reason any working middle class person should support the minimum wage increase...math. While corporations such as McDonald's, Wal-Mart and hundreds of others pay their employees a wage they cannot live on, they rake in BILLIONS of dollars in PROFIT every quarter. Because those employees don't make enough for necessities such as food, healthcare and housing, they have to depend on entitlement programs to make up the difference. Food stamps, Medicaid, etc. WE, the TAXPAYER, pay for these programs! If you prefer to continue footing the bill instead of the corporations decreasing their profit by a fraction, continue to vote Republican!

    April 30, 2014 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  15. Gurgyl

    @just asking–listen Democrats are NOT as greedy as Rethuglicans. They care for American middle class. O.k. Don't spew venom.

    April 30, 2014 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  16. rs


    Anybody who thinks this would help anybody but federal goverment needs to take an economics class. Raising the min. wage will not solve the poverty issue, it will just cause products, utilities, and services to rise as well.
    Sorry- where's your evidence? This hasn't happened any other time the minimum wage was increased. Besides, we are seeing record corporate profits and record worker productivity. If anything this is the time to raise the minimum wage, and the CBO agrees. This will increase spending and create new economic activity.

    April 30, 2014 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  17. J Anthony

    ....and not just simpletons and fools will have a problem with raising wages- can't forget those poor rich business owners who have spent millions lobbying to keep wages down and systematically de-value labor. Why do that when they can create more jobs and pay people livable-wages? Oh yeah, because greed is patriotic these days, right?

    April 30, 2014 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  18. Clay

    My favorite line from Obama:

    ""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,"

    Hello....what are you doing by delaying the Keystone XL pipeline? You're putting politics (and your $$ that Warren Buffet contributes) ahead of working class Americans.

    More liberal hypocrisy.....

    April 30, 2014 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  19. USA1

    There will never be another REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT. The Republican Party is the face of Racism in America, the NRA and have fueled poverty. History will judge the Republican party like the KKK. I am ashamed and embarrassed to be an American. One in 5 children in NEBRASKA go to bed hungry. I am not surprised the minimum wage hike was blocked. It use to be rich, middle class and poor....Now its rich and desperate.

    April 30, 2014 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  20. rs

    truth hurts but reality bites

    The American people are not stupid. Democrats think they can manufacture these idiotic political issues to distract and deflect from their massive economic failure and the disastrous Obamacare fiasco. We keep electing Democrats we will ALL be making minimum wage because there will be no jobs left if they continue their insane policies of re-distribution. The country needs GROWTH policies, not steal and giveaway policies.
    First- live, even one week at the current minimum wage- let us know how that works for you
    Second- wakeup the ACA works. Even the insurance companies say so and utterly poo-pooed the idea their industry will need a bail out (as the GOP asserted).
    Third-Yeah, what about those "jobs, jobs, jobs" bills that the Boehner House would have a "laser-like focus" on? It appears your radical TEA Partiers decided to undermine America instead of actually doing anything. Until Congress act, nothing will happen, and right now Congress is controlled by the Republicans, and the Senate is blocked by the Republicans. Figure out the problem yet?

    April 30, 2014 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  21. BErnard

    THey fell the raise would cost taxes payer more money they senate republican fell that min wages would raise taxes on everyone else

    April 30, 2014 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  22. Ancient Texan

    Harold Read- Oh so true. This is not a legitimate attempt to make life better for the poor, but a political smoke and mirror game the libs play. If it were to pass, unemployment would jump like the CBO said, and the cost of goods sold would go up for the same folks getting the politicized increase.

    April 30, 2014 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  23. Me

    Too high of an increase too fast, who has ever received a 39% or so raise??? The issue here is that the Dems basically went at it as all or nothing, from what I understand they were not willing to lower it to a more reasonible amount, had they been willing things might have turned out different. Makes this look like an act just to get some ammo to use against the repubs in the upcoming elections.

    April 30, 2014 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  24. Tracy

    "Is that why there's consensus among most expert economists that this is a good idea?"

    Cite your so called "consensus".

    April 30, 2014 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  25. john pickett

    #1010 means every one benefits from making enough to pay the rent ,put food on the table & live day by day until a person
    gets a promotion,graduates,or goes into a career

    April 30, 2014 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
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