Boehner knocks Obama’s minimum wage executive order

January 28, 2014
At a news conference on Tuesday, House Speaker John A. Boehner said he suspected a plan to raise minimum wage for federal contract workers would not help many. (The Associated Press)

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday dismissed as insignificant President Obama's plans to raise the minimum wage for federal contractors.

Obama is set to announce in his State of the Union plans to raise the minimum hourly wage for contractors to $10.10 with new contracts beginning in 2015.

In response, Boehner said that, "I suspect the president has the authority to raise the minimum wage for those dealing with federal contracts. But let's understand something: This affects not one current contract, it only affects future contracts with the federal government. And so I think the question is, how many people, Mr. President, will this executive action actually help? I suspect the answer is somewhere close to zero."

Asked more broadly about Obama's push to raise the federal minimum wage, Boehner signaled he doesn't support the proposal.

"When you raise the cost of something you get less of it," he said, adding later: "The very people the president purports to help are the ones who are going to be hurt by this."

Boehner suggested that an increased minimum wage would adversely affect minorities who hold low-wage jobs and would be "bad policy."

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.
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