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January 17, 2014

Obama Considering Raising the Minimum Wage for Federal Workers by Executive Order

Of course.

From The Hill:

Obama and congressional Democrats are pushing for an across-the-board hike in the minimum hourly wage, from $7.25 to $10.10. But Republicans are cool to the plan, warning it could hurt the economy.

Federal contractors represent only a fraction of the nation’s employees. Businesses that together received more than $446 billion in federal contracts employ some 2 million workers, only some of whom are paid the minimum wage. Still, an increase for that segment of the workforce could generate momentum toward a raise for all workers now paid the lowest amount allowable by law.

An executive order to that effect would be tantamount to setting a minimum wage for federal contractors, they said. “Profitable corporations that receive lucrative contracts from the federal government should pay all of their workers a decent wage,” the lawmakers wrote. Obama in recent days has vowed to make 2014 "a year of action," even if it means relying heavily on administrative authority to pursue policy goals in lieu of congressional action.

At first blush, I thought it was possible this would be permissible (if not advisable) under our Constitutional scheme, given that he was directing the Executive itself to make these payments.

But despite that trying-to-be-fair impulse, I'd still like to see legal opinions on this. After all, the President will not be paying these wages out of his own funds. The excess wages will, of course, be paid for by taxpayers, and absent an act of Congress raising the federal contractor minimum wage, this seems probably illegal.

As usual, of course.

"Year of Action," guys.

Thanks to @comradearthur.


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posted by Ace at 12:25 PM

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