Feb. 22 - U.S. President Barack Obama calls again for an increase in minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, in web and radio address. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) President Barack Obama reiterated his effort to raise the minimum wage in his weekly web and radio address on Saturday (February 22). Obama wants to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour from the current $7.25. Polls show three quarters of Americans favor the plan. "Restoring the idea of opportunity for all requires a year of action from all of us. Wherever I can act on my own, I will - and whenever I can ask more Americans to help, I'll do that too," Obama said. The president commended clothing retailer Gap after it announced this week it would raise the hourly pay for its U.S. employees to $9 in June 2014 and $10 in June 2015. "The Gap decided to raise wages for its employees beginning this year. Their decision will benefit about 65,000 workers in the U.S. That means more families will be able to raise their kids, finish their studies, or keep up on their bills with a little less financial stress and strain," Obama said. The minimum wage hike proposal has little chance of approval by Congress, however. The Congressional Budget Office said it would lead to the loss of about half a million jobs by late 2016, even as it lifts almost a million people out of poverty.