Steubenville Herald Star: Reaction mixed to Obama address

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Washington, DC, January 31, 2014 | comments
Rep. David McKinley, R-Wheeling, also believes a minimum wage increase is "worthy of discussion," but he expressed skepticism as to how small businesses already facing new mandates to offer employees health insurance coverage would cope.
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President Barack Obama's pronouncement during Tuesday's State of the Union that he will sidestep Congress whenever possible to "expand opportunity for more American families" rubbed some lawmakers the wrong way, Democrats and Republicans alike.

In particular, Obama's plan to issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay their employees a $10.10 hourly minimum wage - almost 40 percent higher than the current $7.25 - drew criticism from area representatives who don't necessarily oppose the idea, but believe the president is going about it the wrong way.

"It's got a lot of people fired up, the way it came out," said Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. "And I'm one of them."

Manchin said he supports raising the overall federal minimum wage, but warned Congress must be cautious of how quickly and to what level it does so. Though Obama's proposed executive order is narrower in scope, Manchin believes such unilateral action will do little to foster cooperation among lawmakers.

Rep. David McKinley, R-Wheeling, also believes a minimum wage increase is "worthy of discussion," but he expressed skepticism as to how small businesses already facing new mandates to offer employees health insurance coverage would cope. He, too, criticized Obama's planned executive order regarding wages for federal contractors.

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