President Barack Obama will unveil a minimum-wage raise as he delivers his annual State of the Union address later.
The president is expected to bypass a fractured Congress to act on income inequality.
The White House said Barack Obama would unveil an executive order to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for new federal contract workers.
The president is also expected to announce other executive orders, which do not require congressional approval.
He is facing some of the lowest approval ratings of his presidency.
Barack Obama has called for a “year of action”, though Congress will limit his ability to get much done.
He will speak in the House of Representatives at 21:00 local time on Tuesday.
Just over a year after his re-election, Barack Obama must contend with determined opposition from the Republican Party, which controls the House of Representatives and has the numbers in the Senate to block his agenda.
Time is running short before Washington DC turns its attention to the 2016 race to elect his successor, threatening to render him irrelevant even with three years remaining in office.
In the face of a divided Congress, Barack Obama has pledged to use executive action to bypass Congress, and the White House says he will flesh out some of his plans in the State of the Union speech.
Barack Obama is also expected to address long-term joblessness, expansion of early childhood education and infrastructure spending.
He will reiterate his call for a broad rise in the national minimum wage, currently $7.25 per hour, say White House officials.
The president’s executive order raising the hourly rate of federal contract workers prompted a swift response from Republicans.
Barack Obama is also tipped to urge the Republican House of Representatives to support a broad overhaul of the US immigration system.
Last year, the Senate passed a bill that included a path to citizenship for some of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US.
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