March 22 - U.S. President Barack Obama focuses on the minimum wage and women in weekly address. Rough cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. President Barack Obama has called for an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour --- a move he says will help many women who are increasingly the primary breadwinners in their homes. "Today, women make up about half of our workforce, and more than half of our college graduates. More women are now their families' main breadwinner than ever before. But in a lot of ways, our economy hasn't caught up to this new reality yet. On average, a woman still earns just 77 cents for every dollar a man does. And too many women face outdated workplace policies that hold them back - which in turn holds back our families and our entire economy," Obama said. However, Republicans believe that raising the minimum wage could hamper the economic recovery by hurting employers and leading to job cutbacks. "In the year since I first called on Congress to raise the minimum wage, six states have passed laws to raise theirs. More states, counties, and cities are working to raise their minimum wages as we speak. Small businesses like St. Louis-based Pi Pizzeria, are raising their wages too - not out of charity, but because it's good for business. And by the way, Pi makes a really good pizza. And in this year of action, I signed an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay their employees a fair wage of at least ten dollars and ten cents an hour. But if we're truly going to reward the hard work of every American, Congress needs to join the rest of the country and pass a bill that would lift the federal minimum wage to ten dollars and ten cents an hour," Obama said. The president's efforts to win support in Congress faced a setback last month when the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said that hiking the minimum wage could lead to the loss of 500,000 jobs.