President Barack Obama gave his fifth State of the Union address Tuesday night in Washington. The lightning rod Democratic president raised some eyebrows with several of his proposals, including an idea of using executive orders to raise the minimum wage for some workers.
Republican Third District U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan was in attendance at Tuesday’s State of the Union. The congressman, who is from Laurens, said his initial impression of Obama’s speech was it lacked new solutions and ideas.
“I thought there was a lot of stump speech rhetoric,” Duncan said. “Not a whole lot of new ideas. The biggest thing, which we saw coming, was that he is going to try to usurp Congress if he can’t get his way. I sent a letter to leadership (Tuesday) morning that said there are constitutional checks and balances. We have the constitutional power to legislate, not the executive branch. We need to use the tools at our disposal to push back.”

Obama said he would like to raise the minimum wage for those working for federal contractors.
“(A)s a chief executive, I intend to lead by example,” Obama said during his State of the Union address. “Profitable corporations like Costco see higher wages as the smart way to boost productivity and reduce turnover. We should, too. In the coming weeks, I will issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour, because, if you cook our troops’ meals or wash their dishes, you should not have to live in poverty.”