House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Wednesday shot down President Obama’s proposal unveiled at the State of the Union to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.
“I’ve been deadling with the minimum wage issue for the last 28 years that I’ve been in elected office,” he told reporters. “And when you raise the price of employment, guess what happens? You get less of it. At a time when Americans are still asking the question ‘Where are the jobs?’ why would we want to make it harder for small employers to hire people?”
He argued that raising the minimum wage makes it harder for low-skilled workers to enter the workforce and acquire skills to advance up the ladder.
“Listen, I’ve got 11 brothers and sisters on every rung of the economic ladder. I know about this issue as much as anybody in this town. And what happens when you take away the first couple of rungs on the economic ladder — you make it harder for people to get on the ladder,” Boehner said. “Our goal is to get people on the ladder and help them climb that ladder so they can live the American dream. And a lot of people who are being the paid minimum wage are being paid that because they come to the workforce with no skills. And this makes it harder for them to acquire the skills they need in order to climb that ladder successfully.”
Moments later, White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer responded to Boehner on Twitter:
If the GOP is opposed to raising the minimum wage, what is their plan to ensure people who work full time don’t live in poverty?
— Dan Pfeiffer (@pfeiffer44) February 13, 2013