SALT Conference

Jarrett sees immigration, wage bills getting done

Valerie Jarrett
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The Obama administration has its sights set on immigration reform, raising the minimum wage and implementing gun control, initiatives Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett said Thursday are all achievable on some level this year.

"We're going to work with Congress wherever we can," Jarrett said at the Skybridge Capital SALT 2014 hedge fund conference in Las Vegas. "There's still an enormous amount that we want to get done."

Of the goals she listed, immigration reform was the one to which she devoted the most time and expressed the highest level of confidence that something can get done.

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Jarrett said a coalition of political groups, law enforcement and religious leaders has banded to push a bill that she said could get passed over the summer.

"We have a window between now and August where I actually think we can get something done," she said. "When you have that many people for us, you have to say this is an opportunity we should seize and we have to make sure that our voices are heard."

Elsewhere, she said prospects look good for raising the minimum wage, which the White House would like to see climb to $10.10 an hour.

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Obama "does not believe, in this country, you should have to raise your children in poverty," Jarrett said. "The thing that's interesting about it is you find cities and states around the country are acting on their own, private employers are acting on their own. The feeling in this country is it's time to raise the minimum wage."

She pointed to companies such as Costco and The Gap that have acted unilaterally on raising wages and believes that sentiment will spread.

That's the kind of action she hopes to see in the gun debate.

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Congress has been reluctant to infringe on gun owners' rights, but local governments have been more receptive.

"If we can't get it done in Washington, then we're going to get it done at the local level," Jarrett said. "We're not the perfect union yet. We're a work in progress. Collectively, we can make a huge difference."

By CNBC's Jeff Cox.