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White House moves to require $15 minimum wage for federal contractors, pushes for EBT raises

Bide also seeks to institute emergency paid leave for federal workers.

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President Joe Biden, Jan. 21
President Joe Biden, Jan. 21
(MANDEL NGAN/Getty)
Updated: January 22, 2021 - 2:09pm

The White House is moving to direct federal contractors to pay employees a $15 minimum wage and will also push the USDA to raise federal SNAP and EBT benefits as a measure to combat pandemic-related poverty, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said at a press conference on Friday afternoon. 

Deese described the present as "a moment that requires very decisive action to beat the pandemic." He said the White House will ask the Agriculture Department to "increase pandemic EBT benefits by about 15%" and increase emergency SNAP benefits for as many as 12 million Americans by about the same levels. 

Deese said Biden will also sign an executive order directing his administration to initiate a process" that would allow him to issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay at least a $15 minimum wage and provide emergency paid leave for workers.

"The steps will include restoring collective bargaining power and worker protections for federal workers," he said.

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