Obama asks Congress to hike minimum wage

President Obama repeated his call for Congress to increase the minimum wage during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

“To everyone in this Congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, I say this: If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year — go try it,” Obama said.

“If not — vote to give five million of the hardest-working people in America a raise,” he said.

Democrats have called for increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour, but Republicans have blocked the effort arguing that it would cause businesses to lay off workers.

Given Republican control of the House and the Senate, Obama's request is likely dead on arrival.

The president also called on Congress to make sure women and men are paid equally.

“Really. It’s 2015. It’s time,” Obama said. 

Republicans blocked legislation in the last Democratic-controlled Congress that would have allowed workers to sue for punitive damages against wage discrimination, arguing that it unfairly targeted businesses.