On January 28, U.S. President Barack Obama appeared before the Congress with his annual State of the Union address. In the speech, the U.S. President announced that he had signed a decree on increasing the minimum wage for employees of companies that had entered into federal contracts - up to 10.1 dollars per hour. Obama said that the raise would come into force in early 2015. The move, according to the president, is to improve conditions of the middle class. In addition, Obama is going to organize a program of professional training, which will improve the competitiveness of the middle class on the labor market.
In his speech, the American president paid special attention to the relationship between the U.S. Congress and the federal government. In the autumn of 2013, the presidential administration and members of the lower house of the Congress (most of them Republicans) were unable to reach a consensus in approving the draft budget for the new fiscal year. The work of many government agencies left without funding was suspended. Hundreds of thousands of civil servants had to go on vacation contrary to their plans.
Barack Obama in his speech touched upon the situation in Ukraine. He noted that the Ukrainian people had every right to determine the future of their country. The U.S. president also touched on the issue of Iran. He promised to use his veto right should the Congress try to pass an new bill imposing new sanctions on Tehran.
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