Obama at CCSU: "Time to Give America a Raise"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    President Barack Obama spoke at CCSU on Wednesday to make the case for raising the minimum wage. (Published Wednesday, Mar 5, 2014)

    President Barack Obama made a stop at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Conn. today to push his proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10. 

    Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat who has supported the wage increase, introduced the president to loud applause.

    "Go Blue Devils," Obama said when he took the podium and addressed the crowd of 3,000. "It's good to be back in Connecticut."

    Obama proposed the $10.10 minimum wage during his State of the Union Address and has been working to promote the plan.

    "It's not bad business to do right by your workers. It's good business," he said today.

    The United States needs more jobs that pay good wages, more training for workers and a good education for every student in the country, the president said. 

    "It is time to give America a raise. Now is the time," the president said.

    Obama is calling upon Congress to raise the wage, which has received some partisan resistance. 

    A recent Congressional Budget Office report says gradual increase would raise pay for more than 16.5 million people and lift 900,000 people over the federal poverty threshold.

    Republicans, who say raising the minimum wage is a job killer, pointed to another finding that raising the wage would reduce jobs in 2016 by about 500,000, or 0.3 percent.

    “The reality is President Obama’s proposal increases unemployment while providing relief to exactly zero of the more than 136,000 unemployed in Connecticut and millions more across the country. The fact that the President tacked this event onto a multi-state fundraising junket for wealthy donors speaks to where the President’s priorities really lie – with the next election, as always,” Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Short said in a statement after the speech.

    U.S. Reps. Jim Himes, John Larson, Joe Courtney, Rosa DeLauro and Elizabeth Esty, all Democrats, traveled with the president.  During his speech, Obama said they are all onboard with the wage increase.

     

    Then, he called upon those listening to ask their own Congress members if they support it as well.

    After discussing the wage battle in Washington, DC., the president said this issue is nonpartisan and gave special recognition to Doug Wade, the owner of Wade's Dairy in Bridgeport, and a Republican.

    "They treat employees like family," the president said.

    Several governors from the region, including Deval Patrick of Massachusetts,  Lincoln D. Chafee of Rhode Island and Peter Shumlin of Vermont, also attended the speech today.

    Before the speech, Obama and the governors dined at Cafe Beauregard in New Britain,  a local establishment that pays employees more than minimum wage.