President Barack Obama will push for a hike in the minimum wage tonight during his State of the Union address, but that proposal isn't going anywhere if Speaker John A. Boehner has anything to say about it — and he's not a fan of the president's newly announced decision to hike the wage for federal contractors, either.
"When you raise the cost of government, you get less done," the Ohio Republican said Tuesday. "And we know from increases in minimum wage from the past that hundreds of thousands of low-income Americans have lost their jobs. And so the very people the president purports to help are the ones who are going to be hurt by this. When you look at African Americans and Hispanics, they're the people who never have the chance to get on the economic ladder. It's, uh, bad policy."
Boehner said the order would only affect future federal contracts.
"How many people, Mr. President, will this executive action actually help? I suspect the answer is somewhere close to zero," Boehner said.
The White House said Tuesdsay morning Obama had ordered a $10.10 wage for federal contract employees and would urge Congress to phase in an increase in the $7.25 federal minimum wage to that level.
Rep. Diane Black of Tennessee earlier blasted the wage order.
"I understand that the President wants to distract from his poor record on the economy and Obamacare, but signing executive orders to create headlines and more Washington polarization is a sad display of leadership. Unfortunately, this is likely just a preview of what we will hear tonight from this ‘pen and phone’ President," she said in a statement.
Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the co-author of the minimum wage hike being endorsed by Obama, had cheered the White House's announcement. "It is time for Congress to join the rest of the country in raising the federal minimum wage to a level that will help lift working people out of poverty, create jobs, and help move America forward," he said.