Obama to Announce Minimum Wage Hike for Federal Contractors - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

President Obama to Announce Minimum Wage Hike for Federal Contractors

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President Barack Obama's chief of staff says Congress has been "slow to action" -- and he says "we're not going to wait for that." 
 
Dennis McDonough was on the morning network news programs in advance of tonight's State of the Union speech, in which President Barack Obama is expected to announce some executive actions aimed at helping Americans who haven't benefited from the recovering economy. 
 
He'll be raising the minimum wage for new federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour.
 
Obama will also be announcing a new retirement savings plan is going to be geared toward workers whose employers don't currently offer those plans. It's part of Obama's focus tonight on job training, retirement security and help for the long-term unemployed. 
 
Two people familiar with the proposal say first-time savers could start building up savings in Treasury bonds that eventually could be converted into a traditional IRA.
 
Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner says President Obama likely has the authority to raise the minimum wage for new federal contract workers. But the speaker warned against any other unilateral steps that could encroach on the Constitution.
 
Boehner told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference Tuesday that a unilateral increase in the minimum wage is bad policy that will cost low-income Americans their jobs. He says that will hurt the people the president intends to help.
 
The Ohio Republican said the GOP will be watching Obama to ensure he doesn't exceed his authority with other executive actions. Boehner said the president took an oath to obey the tenets of the Constitution.
 
Pressed on what steps Republicans might take, Boehner said there are unspecified options that the GOP will discuss at their annual retreat this week.  (AP)

You can watch live coverage of the State of the Union right here on Channel 2. A special report featuring the president's address and the Republican response begins at 6pm. Because of that we will be airing a special edition of the CBS Evening News on Channel 2.2 and Charter 222 starting at 5:30pm.

Utah Sen. Mike Lee is set to be the face of the national tea party Tuesday night when he delivers the movement's response to President Obama's State of the Union speech.
 
Excerpts of his speech show Lee will pin the widening wealth gap on the president's policies and tout the ideas of a new generation of leaders including himself and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
 
Sal Russo of Tea Party Express says the organization chose Lee because the Republican first-term senator is a recognized leader who is popular among tea partyers.
 
Brigham Young University political scientist Quin Monson says the spotlight will help Lee develop his brand. But he says aligning so closely with the tea party could also put him at risk in future elections.  (AP)

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