Why Liberals Pushed for Executive Action on Minimum Wage

January 28, 2014 | | Washington Post |

Dem Rep. Keith Ellison has been one of the leading proponents of the executive action that President Obama will announce tonight boosting the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors. In an interview this morning, he argued that this move has broader significance than it first appears.

Ellison noted that this could represent a new direction for the White House — one driven primarily by an acceptance that Congress is simply not going to act to reverse big underlying trends that have eroded the economic mobility of working and middle class Americans for years or even decades. [...]

Jonathan Cohn explains: “A 2013 report from the think-tank Demos found that nearly 2 million workers paid through federal contracts and other arrangements made less than $12 an hour.”

“The original study done by Demos said about 2 million, but when you look at the number of contracts that would be impacted, it gets down to a smaller number,” Ellison said.  “Officials told me it will be about 10 percent of that. So this executive order could help around 200,000 people.”