Biden touts executive authority on workplace issues

Vice President Joe Biden touted in the weekly White House address on Saturday how the Obama administration has relied on executive authority to overstep the Republican-led Congress in its work to modernize wage laws.

“Over the last eight years, we’ve worked with Congress … and when Republicans in Congress didn’t act, we used our executive authority to extend overtime coverage for over 4 million workers — boosting their wages by $12 billion over the next decade,” Biden said. “We’ve given additional paid sick leave to more than 1.1 million workers employed by federal contractors — and we’re requiring that those workers earn at least $10.10 per hour.”

The outgoing Democratic vice president said the White House has also used executive authority to close the wage gap between men and women by 10 percent by pushing for salary transparency.

But looking forward, Biden urged lawmakers in GOP-controlled executive and legislative branches to help workers, and in turn, help the economy.

“It’s not just for the workers who benefit — they’re not the only ones. The economy benefits — the overall economy,” Biden explained. “Companies benefit from higher productivity and less turnover. Communities benefit when people have more money to spend at local stores, the diner, the movie theater. The entire economy grows.”

“We need to recognize that globalization hasn’t been an un-alloyed good — and we need to empower those who have paid the price of that globalization,” Biden finished.

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