Clinton Vows To Veto Minimum Wage Bill

July 7, 2008 - 8:25 PM

( - President Clinton on Friday vowed he would veto a minimum wage bill passed by the House on Thursday because he thinks it is against America's working families. Clinton also accused House Republicans of looking out for special interests and not working families.

"The minimum wage must be raised but not with a bill that stacks the deck against America's working families. This bill repeals key overtime protections, could reduce pension coverage for many families, and includes risky tax giveaways that threaten our prosperity and the future of Social Security and Medicare," the President said in a statement released from the White House.

Clinton criticized House Republicans for not looking out for working families.

"Once again, Republicans in the House of Representatives have demonstrated that they would rather fight for special interests than give working families the raise they deserve. I will veto the bill Republicans in the House passed if it comes to my desk. Congress should send me a bill I can sign: a clean, straightforward bill that raises the minimum wage by a dollar over two years," the President said.

The House-passed bill calls for a $1-an-hour increase in the minimum wage but with a $122 billion tax cut that targets the estate tax and gives a tax break for small businesses.

After the bills passage, House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) told reporters on Capitol Hill that substantial tax relief is needed especially for some smaller businesses that would be affected by the minimum wage increase.

"The people who have entry-wage workers are small business owners, and basically those mom-and-pop operations pay a premium when you raise a minimum wage that many other businesses don't," Hastert said.

Meanwhile, House Republican Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) vowed that the House will not send a minimum wage increase to the President without the tax cut. "There is no way we will do that," Armey told reporters on Capitol Hill.

However, the ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY), doubted the veracity of House Republicans' intentions about raising the minimum wage.

"The Republicans do not exercise truth in labeling. The Republican bill does next to nothing for the owners of a mom-and-pop store or for family farmers. Instead, the big winners are the super, super rich," Rangel said.