Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and 17 Senate Democrats are urging President Obama to use his executive powers to help American workers.
In a letter, Sanders wrote to the President:
The federal government continues to be America’s largest low-wage job creator, subsidizing poverty-level wages through taxpayer-funded contracts. We urge you to harness the power of the presidency to help workers.
Now is the time to declare that the federal government will invest our taxpayer dollars to incentivize model employers that commit to creating good jobs and to rebuilding America’s ailing middle class,” wrote the senators. The letter was sent to the president today.
Sen. Sanders and the Senate Democrats urged President Obama to boost the wages of federal contract worker to a living wage. The letter didn’t specify what wage they were seeking, but liberals, including Sen. Sanders, have suggested a living wage of $15/hour.
Seventeen Democratic senators signed on to the letter including Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Barbara Mikulski (Md.), Al Franken (Minn.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Chris Murphy (Conn.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Ben Cardin (Md.), Robert Menendez (N.J.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), and Martin Heinrich (N.M.).
The issue has the potential to be a big winner for President Obama and the Democratic Party. With this letter, Sen. Sanders (I-VT) reminded Democrats that he is an outspoken advocate for low-wage workers. Since the odds of the Republican-controlled Congress passing a minimum wage increase are exactly zero, Democrats are going to have to action where they can to help the country’s underpaid workers.
The contrast between Democrats and Republicans could not be clearer. While Republicans are trying to cut taxes for the wealthy, Democrats are pushing for higher wages. President Obama has an opportunity to do something important for a group of low-wage workers, and something tells me that his executive action pen will be wielded again.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association