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Obama Touts Jobs Projects, Lunches With Workers

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden promoted government financed work projects as they lunched outside the White House Friday, saying the projects could be endangered if Congress does not act by the end of the summer.

Obama and Biden ate at a Shake Shack a few blocks from the White House with four workers from a $9.1 million Washington reconstruction project underway about 3 miles away from the lunch spot.

The White House said the project included $6.9 million in federal aid.

President Barack Obama flanked by Abdullahi Mohamed, left, and Meredith Upchurch speaks to reporters at a restaurant in Washington, Friday, May 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

“It is a no brainer for Congress to do what it’s supposed to do, pass transportation funding,” Obama said, his voice hoarse as he recovers from a cold.

Obama has proposed a $302 billion, four-year infrastructure spending bill, half of it paid with existing fuel taxes and user fees and the other half paid by eliminating corporate tax loopholes.

A key Senate committee on Thursday voted to spend $265 billion on highway projects over the next six years. Still, much legislative work remains before it becomes law.

The administration says current funding for projects will run out by the end of August.

Obama also used the lunch stop to promote another top policy – raising the minimum wage. He pointed out that workers at the restaurant get paid more than $10 an hour. The current minimum hourly wage is $7.25. Obama wants Congress to raise it to $10.10.

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