The president will not sign a measure authorizing the federal government to set a minimum wage at the state and local level, a White House official said Tuesday.
The move, which could signal a break from a White Congress that has sought to raise the minimum wage in several states, would signal a shift in policy toward the labor movement.
The measure is the most high-profile attempt to increase the minimum income, a contentious issue for Democrats who have long pressed for a minimum-wage hike, arguing that it will hurt workers who make the most money.
Democrats have pushed for a higher minimum wage for years, while the Republican-led Congress has resisted.
But many economists have questioned the logic of setting a wage at all, noting that a higher wage could increase demand for goods and services, such as labor, that otherwise would not be available.
The president’s push on a minimum salary comes as Democrats are also weighing a bill to require paid sick leave, a proposal that would make the White House nervous.
The Democrats’ proposal would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 by 2022.
It is a key component of a $15 per hour national minimum wage plan approved by the Democratic-controlled Senate last month.
The $15 proposal is part of a package of proposals that includes a $50-per-hour minimum wage, a $7.25-an-hour national tipped minimum wage and a $5.15-an to $6.25 hourly minimum wage that would apply to fast-food workers.
The proposal also calls for a national paid leave program for employees with children under 21 and to create a new federal program for workers with disabilities.
Republicans have pushed the $15 national minimum and have been the party of the wage increase, but Democrats say they want a much more modest increase that does not affect low-wage workers and that they would be willing to negotiate with any Republican president who wanted to push for a $10 minimum wage.
Democrats have long pushed for higher wages for the working class, saying that it hurts businesses and that it creates more jobs.