President Obama and the Hispanic Community

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

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EMBARGOED UNTIL 6:00 AM ET, SATURDAY, March 29, 2014

WHITE HOUSE VIDEO MESSAGE: It’s Time to Increase the Minimum Wage

WASHINGTON, DC – In the message this week, the Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, Cecilia Muñoz discusses the need for Congress to raise the minimum wage. Also, the Administration welcomes the confirmation by the Senate of Maria Contreras-Sweet to head the Small Business Administration. Maria will be a fierce champion for small businesses and help to boost economic growth and expand opportunities for all.

The audio of the address and video of the message is available online HERE.

Remarks of Cecilia Muñoz

Spanish Weekly Address

The White House

March 29, 2014

Hello everyone, today, I want to talk to you today about the minimum wage and the overwhelming need to raise it.

There’s no reason in the world that an American working 40-hours-a-week has to live in poverty. 

But right now a worker earning the federal minimum wage—makes about $14,500 a year.

It’s hard for an individual to live on that. It’s impossible to raise a family on that.

But if we raise the wage to $10.10 an hour, that same worker would be making $20,200 a year and— with existing tax credits—would earn enough to bring a family of four out of poverty.  

But there’s a lot of other good reasons why raising the wage makes sense.

It would put more hard-earned money into the pockets of 28 million Americans—moving millions of hardworking Americans out of poverty.

Raising the minimum wage is also really good for the economy as a whole.  It would generate an additional $19 billion—in additional income—for people who need it the most. And this generates economic growth in our communities.

That’s why a growing list of governors are raising the wage in their states. They join the President who raised the wage for employees of federal contractors—like the folks serving our troops’ meals on our bases.

Raising the wage will help hardworking people rise out of poverty-- without requiring a single dollar in new taxes or spending

And right now, women make up more than half of the workers who would benefit from increasing the minimum wage. A low minimum wage is one of the reasons why women in America make only 77 cents on the dollar every man makes.  But by raising the minimum wage we can close that gap by 5 percent.  It matters to a lot of hardworking families, particularly moms raising families on a minimum wage.

Raising the minimum wage is also good for business.  Across the country, owners of small and large businesses are recognizing that fair wages and higher profits go hand in hand; it’s good for the bottom line.

This matters for small businesses which are the engine of job growth in our economy. President Obama elevated the role of Small Business Administration to Cabinet level – to give small business a seat at the table when we are talking about our economic agenda. And we welcome the Senate’s confirmation of Maria Contreras-Sweet to lead the Small Business Administration. Maria will be a fierce champion for small businesses and help increase economic growth and expand opportunity for all. She is a well-respected leader in the business and Latino community and we are excited to have her join our Cabinet team.

It’s time for Congress to get behind the minimum wage bill offered in the Senate that would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10.

It’s time to act. It’s time to give America a raise.

Thanks for listening and have a great weekend.

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