Jan. 28 - In his annual State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama will lay out his plan for boosting middle-class prosperity amid a divided congress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) President Barack Obama will lay out a strategy for getting around a divided Congress and boosting middle-class prosperity on Tuesday in a State of the Union speech that reflects scaled-back legislative ambitions after a difficult year. Obama will make clear in his 9 p.m. EST address that he is willing to bypass U.S. lawmakers, and go it alone in some areas by announcing a series of executive actions that do not require congressional approval. The White House said Obama would announce he is issuing an executive order to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for federal contract workers with new contracts. In his address, Obama will also call on Congress to pass a bill to increase the federal minimum wage for all workers to $10.10 an hour from $7.25, and index that to inflation. The executive order raising the level for federal workers, which applies to new contracts or existing contracts in which terms are being changed, will take effect at the beginning of next year, with janitors and construction workers among the beneficiaries. Issuing the order allows Obama to bypass Congress, where Republicans oppose a broad increase in the minimum wage. White House officials said Obama would also announce new executive actions on retirement security and job training to help middle-class workers expand economic opportunity.