He is beginning the negotiation by stating $9/hour as the goal. If the actual negotiation in Congress takes place, the resulting change will certainly be higher than the current $7.25, but not $9. A negotiator always asks for more than he or she thinks is possible. I could see it going as high as $8, but I also think it should be indexed by geographical area--as should the poverty level. Here in the SF Bay Area, $7.25 is not a living wage, whereas it is in some other areas of the country.