The president is calling for coal miners to be allowed to keep their jobs, but some Democrats are warning that they won’t be able to deliver on their promise if they can’t guarantee a minimum wage increase.
“We can’t keep them in their place.
The American people deserve a raise,” Trump told reporters Thursday at the White House.
“If you don’t want a raise, then I don’t think you’re going to get one.”
The president has been calling on Congress to lift the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, which would allow employers to offer workers more generous benefits and give them a say in how the money is spent.
The president said Thursday that he supports the $10 an increase, but would still want Congress to approve it.
He called on lawmakers to “work together on a deal that provides for an immediate and meaningful raise to the federal wage floor.”
While the president says he supports a $10 minimum wage, some Democrats on Capitol Hill are concerned that it would be too difficult to reach the $15 threshold without massive bipartisan support.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told reporters that the White the president has said he would not negotiate with Democrats who don’t support raising the federal federal minimum to $15.
Durbin said that he has “never” spoken to the president and said that his concern is that the president won’t agree to the minimum wage hike if he can’t promise that the legislation will include a wage increase as part of the overall package.
“If you can’t get it on the table with the Democrats, then you can only get it by compromise with the Republicans,” Durbino said.
Trump’s support for a minimum-wage increase is based on the idea that the economy is growing at a steady pace and that the wages are needed to pay for rising labor costs and to pay workers to improve the jobs they are doing.
The White House said that while the president supports a minimum wages hike, it is unclear what percentage of the $17.6 trillion increase will go to a minimum rate of $10, $11 or $12 an hour.
“As you know, the president does not support the raising of the minimum, nor does he want a higher minimum wage,” the White of House said in a statement.
“He does, however, support a fair, livable wage, which is why he has pledged to enact a national minimum wage of $15 an hour in his first 100 days in office.”
“We must have an increase in the minimum hourly wage to allow American workers to live in dignity, and it is imperative that we maintain the minimum wages of the United States,” the statement continued.
The statement from the White house also said that the plan includes other benefits, such as extending health insurance to more people and making college more affordable.
The White House has said that it is working on a $15 minimum wage.