President Obama: "What I Signed Today"
04:49 PM EDT
Earlier today, the President sent the message below to the White House email list, describing the Executive Order he signed today and asking Americans to let him know they're ready for a year of action in 2014.
Didn't get the email? Join millions of other Americans and make sure you're in the loop.
Earlier today, I signed an Executive Order to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for federal contract workers.
It's the right thing to do. But what's more, companies have found that when their employees earn more, they're more motivated, they work harder, and they stick around longer. You should expect the same of your federal government.
The bottom line is this: We are a nation that believes in rewarding honest work with honest wages. And America deserves a raise.
The order I signed today will help folks across the country. But it's not enough.
Right now, there's a bill in Congress that would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for all Americans. It would lift wages for more than 28 million current workers, and would move millions of Americans out of poverty. That means businesses would have customers with more money to spend.
Raising the minimum wage would grow the economy for everyone.
You don't need to believe me: Believe the 600 economists -- including seven Nobel Prize winners -- who wrote both houses of Congress last month to remind them that the bill before them will have little or no negative effect on jobs.
When I stood before both chambers of Congress and said that I intended for 2014 to be a year of action, that wasn't just a nice line in a speech. It was an acknowledgment that we've got to restore opportunity for everyone in America -- the idea that no matter who you are, or how you started out, you can get ahead here if you're responsible and willing to work for it. That's what this "year of action" is all about.
And since that speech, I have taken actions on my own to make it easier for folks to save for retirement, help working Americans get the skills that good jobs demand, and assist millions of Americans who have been looking for work for several months. I've announced a major new commitment toward connecting our schools to 21st-century technology.
That action continues today, and in the months to come.
President Barack Obama