Biden touts wage hike over soul food

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Vice President Biden visited the self-proclaimed "oldest soul food restaurant in the world" on Wednesday to tout President Obama's push to raise the minimum wage.

Biden bought four slices of apple pie at Washington, D.C.'s Florida Avenue Grill and hailed the diner for raising its pay for tipped employees to $3.77 per hour, which is above the $2.13 minimum wage for tipped employees. 

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Biden arrived at the Florida Avenue Grill just before 1 p.m. and spoke to employees and customers about the Obama administration’s proposal to hike the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 per hour.

Biden said that when you raise the tipped wage, the tip minimum or the overall minimum wage, the money flows back into the economy. 

"This guy, he went ahead and you know, the tipped minimum wage has not been raised in 20 years. He went ahead and raised it by over a dollar," Biden said, referring to the restaurant's owner, Imar Hutchins. 

Waiters and waitresses, he added, are three times as likely to be in poverty. 

"The idea that you can work 40 hours a week and still be in poverty is just ridiculous, it's ridiculous," he said. "Raising the wage to $10.10 across the nation, 28 million people are going to get a raise. And it's a significant raise, it's almost 40 percent, and it will matter in their lives."

His visit comes after the White House released a report Wednesday on "The Impact of Raising the Minimum Wage on Women."

The report said more than half of people who would benefit from the minimum wage increase are women.

Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia have implemented increases in the tipped minimum wage above the federal wage, according the pool report. Nineteen states, meanwhile, still pay the minimum amount. 

Raising the minimum wage would require action by Congress, and Republicans in the House and Senate have opposed the hike, arguing it would hurt the economy. 

They have also pointed to a Congressional Budget Office report that found the increase could cost as many as 500,000 jobs.