Minimum wage hike at center of Providence talk

Rhode Island U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse is joining U.S. Reps. Jim Langevin and David Cicilline to drum up public support for raising the national minimum wage.

The three lawmakers are set to hold a public discussion in Providence on how raising the federal minimum wage could help Rhode Island residents. The one-hour discussion is scheduled for Tuesday morning and comes as Democrats push to overcome opposition to the wage hike from most Republican lawmakers.

President Barack Obama has issued an executive order raising the minimum hourly pay for new federal contractors from $7.25 to $10.10. Obama and many congressional Democrats want to expand the raise nationally.

The whole Rhode Island congressional delegation is co-sponsoring legislation that would do that.

An AP-GfK Poll in January found 55 percent of U.S. adults favor an increase in the minimum wage.