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. Pete

    Thanks republicans again for showing us your true concern for your low wage constituents,NOT!!Well republicans again also put another nail in their political coffins without Pres.Obamas help and can you republicans help yourself off the cliff without screwing that up...Boy, midterms just can't come fast enough can it voters...

    April 30, 2014 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  2. MNDaytonExchange

    The minimum wage likely doesn't factor into anyone that is commenting's wages so we can't personally understand how this is effecting lives. We simply wait for CNN to stop breaking news on flight#370 to hear a few pundits opinions and take them as gospel. The market of supply and demand should factor into wages across the board but with a set minimum they should fluctuate with inflation. If the economy didn't continue to struggle this vote likely would pass. CNN should be reporting on the increase in politician wages, that would be great news considering both parties are the problem. We are in the regime of HOPE and guess what's filling the hand up. The country needs a real leader, regardless or party affiliation, that can get parties to work together to better the country not their political agenda.

    April 30, 2014 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  3. JAFO

    The GOP is a joke. They're only for the rich people, not the middle class Americans. Yet, the always play: Born in the USA at their election events, lol. Even though, the song is about Vietnam Vets, lol.

    The GOP wants a strong military and an ignorant America population.

    April 30, 2014 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  4. RC

    Prices have been increasing on everything and there hasn't been an increase in minimum wage in America so that makes no sense. Minimum wage is federally mandated for a reason. To keep what happens to undocumented workers from happening to American Citizens. I have worked with some undocumented workers who make 5 dollars an hour, there's no system to protect them and no federal mandate to make sure they are paid to be able to live. At this point in our economy 7.25 an hour is not enough to provide for a family much less get an education to try and make a better wage. Before you people judge others who you think are lower than you, know what you are talking about and understand what it is like to be them instead of mocking them and calling them underserving.

    April 30, 2014 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  5. Greg

    Raising the minimum wage won't do anything for peoples wages considering most businesses run on thin profit margins as it is.

    This is just a scheme by the president to increase tax revenue so democrats can say that they did something right.

    If you're making $10.10 an hour, you're making less than I do. And I live in my parents basement.

    Ironically, if the people who fought so hard, spending millions of dollars on political ads and donations to raise the minimum wage, were to actually spend that money on the people who they say they care about, this wouldn't be an issue, giving them nothing to campaign against.

    Only morons would vote to make $10.10. That's all you'll ever be worth.

    April 30, 2014 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Raising the minimum wage is exactly the wrong thing to do. It discourages hiring and ind it discourages people from improving their skills to earn a higher wwage. Raising the minimum wage is just Democrats pandering to people whold'd rather be paid to laze through life rather than to work to earn more.

    April 30, 2014 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  7. Stuffitu

    Slamming. Is what he does. That and spend $40 million on vacation. And if you object, you are a racist and will be investigated by the DOJ and IRS.

    April 30, 2014 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  8. Liz the First

    It's amazing how people on the 'right' would rather scream about benghazi than realize the people they vote for are ruining their lives. they're so blinded by hatred of our president they can't see what their own leaders are doing to them. the people who vote republican the most are the same people the Dems are trying to help. how do you get thru to people who won't listen to reason and reality?

    April 30, 2014 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  9. jinx9to88

    If people didn't have to work 2 or 3 jobs there might be more jobs for the unemployed to have. If people made a livable wage there would be less people on food stamps and government assistance then cuts can be made to reduce the deficit. The GOP don't have the balls to ask the rich CEO's to raise the minimum wage.

    April 30, 2014 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  10. jinx9to88

    @ lagergeld
    Obama can go to hell. This is a just a shell game to get votes. Prices will simply increase to cover the wage increase, thus amounting to no gain at all. Want to help unskilled workers?


    News Flash Brainiac the prices have been increasing every year but wages has been at a stand still. GOP cry about cutting food stamps but are against the minimum wage increase. $3.00 for a gallon of milk when you make $7.50 an hour doesn't goto far. Like Clinton said "its simple arithmetic".

    April 30, 2014 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  11. Gunderson

    The State running everything was a smashing success in the old Soviet Union. So successful that they went out of business. The Auto Unions were so successful they bankrupted the Car Companies. The Bakers Union sent Hostess into a non union company. The Liberal Manifesto has been a smashing success these last 50 plus years You want more money? If you do, you elected the wrong president.

    April 30, 2014 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  12. S. B. Stein

    I don't think the GOP has either fully thought this through or really don't care that it would help people. The issue is that people who works 40 hours a week earning minimum wage shouldn't have to need government or charitable support for a family.

    April 30, 2014 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain

    The gop/tea bags are hellbent on destroying the American middle class.

    April 30, 2014 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  14. Dynamic

    We don't need to keep giving these slave-wage workers more and more political power by raising their wages every few years. It's bad enough that there are still some unions left around, but why should we be forced to pay people anything for serving us cheap food? If the restaurant wants to give the workers some money for their efforts, it's none of our business. If a corporation wants to pay their software engineers minimum wage or less, it's none of our business. Mind your own business, liberals!

    April 30, 2014 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain

    To everyone who thinks that employers won't hire if the minimum wage goes up, how do you explain the economic expansion our nation experienced when our middle class grew the 40 years following WWII?

    Living wages creates demand which spurs production. If employers can't figure out a way to make a profit, then maybe THEY should consider taking a pay cut.

    April 30, 2014 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  16. michelle

    republicans assunming the working poor are not going to turn out to vote may turn out be be a huge mistake.

    April 30, 2014 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  17. Frankie

    I would like to see the representatives of each state live on minimum wage for a week. They are not willing to slowly raise minimum wage for everybody else but are more than willing to give themselves raises, what are they up to about $70 per hour by now.

    April 30, 2014 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  18. smith1

    maybe we should start paying the GOP senate and congress a minimum wage and take away their health coverage. They really don't do anything anyway. Vote them out this midterm.

    April 30, 2014 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @it must be said: "People that make minimum wage have minimum skills."

    Not true. Skilled workers whose jobs were outsourced to China and other third-world countries still have those skills – but American corporations would rather pay slave wages.

    April 30, 2014 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @lagergeld: "It would be far more helpful to push illegal aliens out of jobs that unskilled Americans need. Will they? NO – they are too busy pandering to illegal aliens for cheap labor that undercuts US workers and trying to legalize them so they can use their votes to consolidate power and turn this country into a left-wing toilet"

    repubs are the ones who bare the most guilt for laying off living-wage Americans to hire illegals, not only for the cheap labor, but so they could threaten them with deportation if they ever got out of line. If you don't like illegals, then quit supporting companies that hire them – and quit hiring them YOURSELF.

    April 30, 2014 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    "Anyone who understands economics knows that raising the minimum wage during a weak economy is a bad idea."

    Given that you righties are against science and education, I'd say any thoughts you have on economics are worthless.

    April 30, 2014 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  22. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    You know, I could right this all day: If the repub/tea bags had a record of success – or could point to one society in the history of humankind that enjoyed broad-based, sustainable prosperity as a result of their policies – I'd say, yeah, given them a listen.

    But. They. Don't.

    If they didn't cling to economic, military and foreign policies that are all PROVEN FAILURES, I'd say, yeah, their voices should be heard.

    But. They. Do.

    If their candidates and politicians weren't filled with hate, intolerance, ignorance and a holier-than-thou hypocrisy, I'd say, yeah, sure, put it out there.

    But. They. Are.

    And so every Democrat out there needs to get out and VOTE on November 4, 2014 and send these repub/tea bags PACKING.

    April 30, 2014 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  23. CronoT

    "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'll see your strawman, & raise you a rhetorical question: What color is a leprechaun's lawn furniture?

    I make MORE than $10.10/hr, & if it wasn't for my g/f's monthly stipend & SNAP, we wouldn't have enough money to pay our bills, much less have enough money for 'luxuries' such as new clothes & being able to see a movie without waiting 2 or 3 months for it to go to the el cheapo theaters.

    May 1, 2014 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  24. Toto-ks

    Post it. I dare you. Or better yet send in the assins to shv me up. My righteous soul will STILL live forever and no worldly descendent can do anything about that.Minimum wagers are abused and trapped BUT they all have a good place in heaven unlike the evil controllers on our necks.

    May 1, 2014 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  25. J.V.Hodgson

    Republicans know this will turn out the democratic base at the election, if its passed.
    QED we need to ensure it does not pass until after the election.
    How stupid do they think the swing ( independent) voters are.
    Its true " turnout will be important " but please do not underestimate the effect of the growing so called independent vote.
    That's why national almost 3/4 see $10.10 as reasonable.

    May 1, 2014 04:18 am at 4:18 am |
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