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President Obama to act alone and sign minimum wage increase today

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President Obama today will take matters into his own hands where the minimum wage is concerned. The White House says the President will sign an executive order today to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour. The change would take effect January 1, 2015. It would affect new contract workers and replacement contracts going forward. The current minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. With the move, the President is following through on one of the promises he made during his most recent State of the Union address to act without Congress when he feels it necessary.

"The executive order the president will sign today will benefit hundreds of thousands of people," the White House said in a statement. Before the President unveiled the new plan in his State of the Union address, the White House said the new minimum wage would apply to construction workers and janitors, among others.

The White House today said the increase for federal workers will also “improve the value that taxpayers are getting from the federal government's investment. Studies show that boosting low wages will reduce turnover and absenteeism, while also boosting morale and improving the incentives for workers, leading to higher productivity overall."

Republicans have resisted past efforts to increase the minimum wage, arguing the increased cost to employers would mean less job creation at a time when the economy struggling to recover and create new jobs at a healthy rate.