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Why the White House Thinks Walmart's Wage Hike Reinforces Argument for Federal Mandate

White House press secretary Josh Earnest gestures as he talks about the Islamic State group during the daily press briefing, Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The nation’s largest retail chain voluntarily raising its minimum wage is not reason to back away from a federally mandated minimum wage increase, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told TheBlaze Friday.

President Barack Obama has called on Congress to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. This week, Walmart announced is raising its lowest wage to $9 per hour now and to $10 per hour by next February.

TheBlaze asked if the private sector is taking the lead, if a new law is necessary.

“That’s one argument,” Earnest responded. “Executives at Walmart have a strong track record of understanding the decision that they can take that will enhance their bottom line. These executives concluded that offering more flexible scheduling policies to their workers and raising their wages was good for the bottom line and good for business. “

White House press secretary Josh Earnest gestures as he talks about the Islamic State group during the daily press briefing, Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) AP Photo/Evan Vucci White House press secretary Josh Earnest (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The reason Earnest said this doesn’t mitigate against a federal minimum wage hike is that is disproves an argument from congressional Republicans that a mandatory wage hike would harm businesses.

“The reason I think it’s notable is that Republicans excuse for not raising the minimum wage is that it’s bad for business,” Earnest said. “This is the reason that we hold up this example as we have with other private sector companies that have also raised their workers wages. They find that it’s good for business. They find that it’s good for their bottom line. We believe that everyone should be able to benefit from that.”

One last thing…
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