President Obama on Friday shake'd-n-dined four workers from a reconstruction project in Washington, D.C., seizing on an opportunity to plug both transportation funding as well as an increase in the minimum wage.
Providing a token offering to his campaign to boost the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10, the president said he's "very proud" of Shake Shack, his lunch location of choice, "which has great burgers and pays its employees over 10 bucks an hour." In addition to Vice President Joe Biden, he was joined by Abdullahi Mohamed, Antonio Byrd, Aidin Sarabi and Meredith Upchurch, who are working on the 1st St. NE reconstruction project in the capital's NoMa district.
"These four individuals just completed a project here in D.C. - an infrastructure project that put a lot of folks to work, it is going to make the economy move better, traffic move better," Mr. Obama said.
Earlier this week, the president spoke from the crumbling Tappan Zee Bridge, imploring Congress to move on legislation to replace it. The project had been delayed for more than a decade until the White House put it on a list of fast-track projects in 2012, according to CBS New York.
"One of the things that we could do right now to put more Americans back to work is to fund our transportation more effectively and more consistently," Mr. Obama told reporters Friday at Shake Shack. "And if Congress does not act, then by the end of this summer, we could have hundreds of thousands of projects like this all across the country stop. And people whose livelihoods depend on those projects sent home. And businesses that need improved infrastructure suffering under downgraded infrastructure.
"So it is a no-brainer for Congress to do what it's supposed to do: Pass transportation funding," he continued. "We know we're going to have to do it. This is like deferred maintenance on your house. If you've got to do some tuck-pointing to fix the roof or fix the boiler, there's no point in putting it off."