Wednesday, January 29, 2014
The morning after President Barack Obama delivered his state of the union address, he made a stop near Pittsburgh at the U.S. Steel Irwin Plant in West Mifflin. Reiterating much of what he said the night before, Obama focused on his plans to help the working class in 2014.
"Too many Americans are working harder than ever just to get by," Obama said.
A majority of Obama's remarks centered around his newly announced "myRA" plan that would help Americans save for retirement. Obama signed a memorandum to launch "myRA" in front of the crowd of steel workers. Guidelines for the program will be created by U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew who was also in attendance.
"I'm no going to wait for Congress," Obama said. "I could do more with Congress, but I'm not going to not do anything without Congress, not when it's about the basic security and dignity of American workers."
Obama also discussed raising the minimum wage, saying he would require federal contractors to pay their employees $10.10 per hour. He also talked about the wage gap between men and women.
"In 2014, it's and embarrassment," Obama said. "Women deserve equal pay for equal work."
Those in the crowd seemed receptive to Obama's plans for the the "myRA" program and for the other programs he touted in his speech, including the Affordable Care Act.
"I'm in support of what he's trying to do," said U.S. Steelworker Eric Lautner, who had the chance to meet Obama when he toured the plant prior to his remarks. "I have three kids of my own and I think the healthcare law and this new retirement plan will be a great benefit to them."