President Obama's promised executive order to raise the minimum wage for some government contract workers would likely affect less than half a million people and may face legal challenge.
What Obama is hoping is that his relatively narrow move will spur Congress to follow suit for all low-wage workers in the country.
The announcement came Tuesday after months of pressure from liberals, who worry that Congress will not move quickly, if at all, on legislation to gradually raise the federal minimum wage across the board to $10.10 an hour from $7.25. [...]
The order likely could also apply to contract renewals, if a contract's legal terms are changed, noted Amy Traub, a senior policy analysts at the liberal think tank Demos.
According to estimates by Demos, Obama's order could help "hundreds of thousands" of workers, although fewer than 500,000 overall.