Obama Renews Push for Minimum Wage Hike
President Barack Obama renewed his campaign Wednesday for Congress to approve a higher minimum wage.
Specifically, Obama wants lawmakers to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10.
"Ask them to reconsider. Ask them to side with the majority of Americans. Instead of saying no for once, say yes," the president told a packed gymnasium at Central Connecticut State University.
He was surrounded by what he called "the justice league of governors," four New England governors who have already raised the minimum wage.
Democrats hope Obama's populist message will help them win votes in November's midterm elections.
But Republicans pointed out the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates Obama's proposal would kill roughly 500,000 jobs.
That's because businesses will have to lay off employees to cover the higher cost of paying their remaining employees.
"Republicans in Congress oppose raising the minimum wage. Now I don't know if that's just because I proposed it," Obama said, drawing laughter from the largely supportive crowd. "Maybe I should say I oppose raising the minimum wage, and they'd vote for it."
House Speaker John Boehner's office responded by releasing a parody "fact sheet" in the style typically used by the White House to outline Obama's proposals. The headline: "President Obama Offers Plan to Destroy Jobs for Low-Income Americans."
"When folks are still struggling to find work in this economy, why would we make that any harder?" Boehner's spokesman Brendan Buck challenged.