WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama Tuesday told an activist group pushing to advance his initiatives he wants them to help him get a $10.10 per hour minimum wage passed.
Obama told those gathered at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington for the Organizing for Action summit that getting the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to pass the wage hike should be their primary focus.
"No. 1, let's make sure we're giving America a raise," Obama said. "One thing that Americans across the board agree on is if you work full-time in the wealthiest nation on Earth, you shouldn't be in poverty.
"Three-quarters of Americans support raising the minimum wage -- not just Democrats; independents, Republicans support raising the minimum wage. Unfortunately, so far we have seen Republicans in Congress not even want to vote on it, even though the current proposal would potentially provide more income for 16 million Americans."
He said the increase would be "good for our economy and it's good for everybody."
"But I'm going to need all of you to keep on pushing on that front," the Democratic president said.
Obama said the organization's second priority should be to keep working to get more people signed up for healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
"So what you need to do is to continue what you're doing and reach out with your teams in your respective cities, states, towns, counties, because right now we've only got a few weeks left," he said. "March 31, that's the last call. If folks aren't signed up by March 31, they can't sign up again until the next open enrollment period with the 2015 rates. So if they want health insurance now, they need to sign up now.
"And we're going to make a big push these last few weeks.
"The work you're doing is God's work. It is hard work."