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Biden to sign federal employee minimum wage decrees

2021-01-22T12:13:33.995Z

Biden is expected to sign two more decrees Friday, one focused on raising the minimum wage to $ 15 for the federal workforce.



The cover that Time magazine dedicates to Biden 0:48

(CNN) -

President Joe Biden is expected to sign two more bills on Friday, one focused on raising the minimum wage to $ 15 for the federal workforce and the other on expanding assistance for Americans in need, as he continues. his swift efforts to reverse the policies of his predecessor.

One is aimed at improving the jobs of federal employees and contractors, which was one of the president's campaign commitments.

It sets in motion another decree that it plans to sign within its first 100 days that requires federal contractors to pay a minimum wage of $ 15 an hour and provide emergency paid leave.

It also directs agencies to determine which federal workers are earning less than that minimum and to develop recommendations to promote bringing them up to $ 15 an hour.

Biden included a call to raise the national minimum hourly wage to $ 15 as part of the $ 1.9 trillion aid package he outlined last week before taking office.

It is currently US $ 7.25 an hour.

The second decree seeks to provide assistance in a variety of ways to those who are out of work or struggling to buy food.

"The American people cannot afford to wait," said Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council.

He noted that Census Bureau data shows that nearly 30 million people don't always have enough to eat.

And many are hanging by a thread.

They need help, and we are committed to doing everything we can to provide that help as quickly as possible.

Biden has signed a series of decrees, actions and memoranda since he was sworn in Wednesday, including immediate steps to help student loan debtors and people facing eviction.

On Thursday, he formalized steps to control the coronavirus pandemic.

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Biden is expected to sign additional orders in the coming days, according to a schedule document sent to the administration's allies and viewed by CNN.

His agenda next week includes steps to tighten requirements for the government to purchase goods and services from American companies, a push to eliminate private prisons, reestablish the President's Council of Science and Technology Advisers, rescind the so-called policy of the Mexico City blocking federal funding for nongovernmental organizations providing abortion services, and changes to border processing and refugee policies, as well as the establishment of a family reunification task force.

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Restore civil service protections

Friday's first decree will also revoke three decrees signed by then-President Donald Trump in 2018 that made it easier to lay off federal employees and weakened their unions.

The measures have been the subject of litigation and arbitration.

Biden's action instructs the agencies to negotiate on permissible and non-binding issues in contract negotiations.

Friday's decree also removes the new Schedule F classification for certain federal civil service employees, which Trump created in October by decree.

Critics said Trump's move politicizes the civil service and could lead to career officials being ousted for political reasons.

Helping families in need

The second decree requires the Department of Agriculture to consider improving Pandemic-EBT benefits by 15%, which would give a family with three children more than $ 100 in additional support every two months.

The program, part of aid packages that Congress approved last March, provides funds to low-income families whose nursery schools have closed to replace the free or reduced-price meals they would have received.

Additionally, the decree directs the department to consider allowing states to increase food stamp benefits for the approximately 12 million Americans who did not receive an increase in their emergency appropriations before.

And the president is asking the agency to consider revising its Thrifty Food Plan, which is the basis for determining food stamp benefits, to better reflect the current cost of a healthy staple diet.

Food insecurity has exploded during the pandemic amid massive job losses.

The aid bill that lawmakers passed in December increases the maximum benefit of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as food stamps are formally known, by 15% through June.

Biden's relief measure would extend it through September.

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Additionally, Biden will ask the Treasury Department to consider taking a series of actions to try to reach the roughly 8 million people who may have missed their stimulus payments because they don't normally file taxes.

And the decree directs the Department of Labor to consider clarifying that unemployed Americans can refuse to take jobs that they fear will endanger their health and still qualify for unemployment benefits.

This has become a problem during the pandemic because some jobless people have been afraid to take jobs that they believe will expose them to the virus.

States have varied in how they have handled these situations.

CNN's Katie Lobosco, Nikki Carvajal, and Betsy Klein contributed to this report.

Minimum salary

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2021-01-22

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