White House chief of staff: No let up in focus on middle class

President Obama will not back down from his policies aimed at helping middle class workers in the face of Republican opposition, a top White House official said Sunday.

{mossecondads}”What the president laid out in his speech Tuesday night is a plan to say, ‘Hey, let’s put the middle class first in this country,’” White House chief of staff Denis McDonough told “Fox News Sunday.”

McDonough pointed to efforts from the Obama administration that would making it easier for workers to receive job training and a college education as well as for working class families to afford child care.

The Obama administration is pushing for parents and pregnant women to receive paid sick leave so they can take care of their children.

Earlier this month, the president issued a new policy ensuring that government workers will get six weeks of paid leave after they give birth.

But the policy only extends to federal employees.

The president continues to push for Congress to pass legislation for private sector workers that would give pregnant women seven days of paid sick leave.

In another effort to help middle-class workers, the Obama administration is looking to increase the number of employees who qualify for overtime pay.

Currently, any worker making more than $23,660 a year, or $455 a week, does not qualify for overtime pay.

The Department of Labor is looking to raise that number of private sector workers that would receive overtime pay.

President Obama and Democrats are also calling for Congress to raise the minimum wage for all workers to $10.10 an hour.

The Obama administration last year raised the minimum wage to $10.10 for employees of federal contractors.

But only Congress can raise it for all private-sector workers.

“He is not going to say that we should trim back our agenda working for middle-class families in this country,” McDonough said. “He’s not.”

“It’s been decades now that the wages have stagnated for hard-working, middle-class families,” he added. “(The president) is saying, ‘Enough is enough.’”

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