LANHAM, Md -- Republicans are calling it "small ball," but the President is sure hitting it hard.
He took his State of the Union "give America a raise" message to the Costco here in Prince George's County on Wednesday.
If you ask Costco workers how they feel about their company, you will get an earful. "I love Costco," said assistant manager Lashonda Hammonds. "I can't even begin to say how good they treat us," said optician Kofi Holland. "It's awesome working here, and the wages are outstanding," said Sherri Hayes.
Costco pays it's employees well north of the minimum wage. Entry level is $11.50 and the average wage is $20. President Obama says Costco's big bag business strategy is working. And he's pushing Congress to pass a $10.10 minimum wage for everybody.
"If workers have a little more money in their pocket, they'll spend more at Costco. And if Costco's seeing more customers, they'll hire some more folk. Everybody does better," the President said to a crowd of about 450 standing among big Costco size boxes of garbage bags and paper towels.
The President's push on the minimum wage is making some moderate Republicans uncomfortable. A recent Washington Post poll found 60% of American's support a boost in the wage. But some Republicans say boosting the minimum wage will cost jobs, and burden some small businesses. "We know from increases in the minimum wage in the past that 100,000s of low income American's have lost their jobs," House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Tuesday.
The President says he'll boost the minimum wage by executive order for workers on all new federal contracts. But that will reach far fewer Americans than an act of Congress.
President Obama left Lanham for a Pittsburgh steel mill, where with the stroke of a pen he created a new savings plan designed for Americans who do not have retirement plans at work. The "myRA" program will allow employees to contribute as little as $5 from their paychecks into a starter retirement plan that would grow tax free.