President Obama, fresh from his State of the Union address, pushes his plans for government investment in innovation hubs at a North Carolina auto parts plant.
Obama traveled to Asheville Wednesday to begin to press for the economic agenda he outlined Tuesday night.
"Our economy is adding jobs, but too many people still can't find full-time employment. Corporate profits have rocketed to all-time highs, but for more than a decade, wages and incomes have barely budged,'" Obama said in his address to a joint session of Congress.
"It is our generation's task, then, to reignite the true engine of America's economic growth -- a rising, thriving middle class,'' Obama said.
En route to Asheville, White House spokesmen Jay Carney told reporters Obama is confident the "right proposal" can make its way through Congress, considering the level of support from the business community.
Obama Tuesday pledged to fight for a higher minimum wage -- $9 an hour from $7.25 an hour by the end of 2015.
"This single step would raise the incomes of millions of working families," he said. "It could mean the difference between groceries or the food bank, rent or eviction, scraping by or finally getting ahead."
Deputy White House spokesman Jason Furman said Obama "takes a comprehensive approach" and that's why the level he's currently proposing is less than what he proposed in 2008. Furman said the $9 figure takes into account the changes in the tax code the administration has been able to secure, which he estimated amount to 75 cents an hour for a full-time, minimum-wage worker.
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