Obama pressures Congress after NY, California minimum wage hikes

Obama pressures Congress after NY, California minimum wage hikes
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President Obama on Monday praised two Democratic governors for hiking the minimum wage and bolstering paid leave in their states and called on Congress to do the same. 

Govs. Andrew Cuomo (NY) and Jerry Brown (Calif.) on Monday both signed laws to raise the minimum wage in their states to $15 per hour. 

"Since I first called on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage in 2013, 18 states and the District of Columbia have acted on their own to raise the minimum wage. States and cities are making progress in expanding paid leave," Obama said in a statement. "Now it's time for Congress to step up and do what is right for every hard-working American and for our economy."

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25, but Obama raised the minimum wage for federal workers to $10.10 through a February 2014 executive action.

Many Democrats support raising the minimum wage to $15, including Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersRealClearPolitics editor: Moderate Democrats are losing even when they win Sanders tests his brand in Florida Ocasio-Cortez slammed for banning press from public event MORE, one of the party's two leading presidential candidates. The front-runner in the race, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMueller recommends Papadopoulos be sentenced to up to 6 months in prison Poll: Dem opponent leads Scott Walker by 5 points Cuomo fires back at Trump: 'America is great because it rejects your hate-filled agenda' MORE, supports a $12 federal minimum wage but has said states should be free to raise it even higher.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) echoed Obama on Monday and called her home state's wage hike "a monumental victory."

"While we have secured vital progress for the workers of California, hard-working families across America are still waiting for a long-overdue pay raise," Pelosi said. "As California leads the way toward bigger paychecks for working families, the need for Congressional action is clearer than ever."