Report: President Obama Wants to Raise Minimum Wage to $10

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Democrats in Congress have introduced a bill to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 over two years. Apparently it has the president's support.

The White House supports a Democratic proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, The New York Times says.

That’s according to an anonymous White House official, of course. President Obama publicly supported an increase to at least $9 an hour in his State of the Union address early this year.

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez took to Twitter on Friday to support an increase, although he wasn’t specific about the amount. “Here’s the bottom line: No one who works a full-time job should have to live in poverty,” he said through the official Twitter account of the Labor Department.

“A $10.10 minimum wage would have pushed more than half — 58 percent — of the nation’s 10 million-plus working poor out of poverty in 2011,” The Huffington Post says, citing a June study by advocacy group Restaurant Opportunities Centers United.

The measure to raise the wage to $10.10 from the current $7.25, known as the Fair Minimum Wage Act, would take place over two years, Bloomberg says. After that, increases would be tied to inflation.

“The legislation will probably be coupled with some tax sweeteners for small businesses, traditionally the loudest opponents of increases to the minimum wage,”  the Times says.

One provision discussed would allow businesses “to deduct the total cost of investments in equipment or expansions, up to a maximum of $500,000 in the first year,” the Times says.

Even a sweetened bill would have to make it through the Republican-controlled House first. Given the financial wars Congress has been waging over the past two years, that seems unlikely. In March, the House voted 233-to-184 against a similar proposal.

Stacy Johnson

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