King: Obama minimum wage move a 'constitutional violation'

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) in an interview Tuesday blasted President Obama's move to require new federal contractors to pay their employees above $10.10 a "constitutional violation." 

"We have a minimum wage. Congress has set it. For the president to simply declare I'm going to change this law that Congress has passed is unconstitutional," King said.

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The Iowa congressman suggested that there would be a legal challenge to the move, and said that the nation never "had a president with that level of audacity and that level of contempt for his own oath of office."

Still, King stopped short of suggesting that the move was grounds for impeaching the president.

"I've stayed away from that word although it does come to me out in the streets of America consistently," King said. "I think instead, this Congress should lay out the violations that the president's had, and they are many."

King accused Obama of similarly violating the Constitution in executive actions he took on No Child Left Behind, immigration reform, welfare to work, and the implementation of his signature healthcare law.

"I think we should bring a resolution to the floor and say so, and restrain this president from his extra-constitutional behavior," King said.

In a separate interview with CNN, White House adviser Valerie Jarrett said the move was within the president's "control, comfortably, to sign that executive order" and "not intended to be provocative."

"He supports the Harkin-Miller bill that's currently pending before Congress that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10, and provide cost of living increases when appropriate," Jarrett said. "But at the same time, he doesn't want to sit waiting when there are too many people who are contractors for the federal government who are raising their children in poverty. The current minimum wage is $7.25. That translates into about $14,500 a year. You cannot raise a family on that money."

Obama's executive order would only apply to future under new federal contracts.