House Speaker John Boehner (File)
WASHINGTON (February 13, 2013)—U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday the minimum wage increase the president called for in his State of the Union address is a bad idea.
Boehner said an increase in “the price of employment” means fewer jobs.
"Why would we want to make it harder for small employers to hire people?” he asked.
But President Barack Obama, speaking Wednesday in North Carolina, said giving workers a decent living is part of the key to reviving the economy.
"If you work full time, you shouldn't be in poverty,” he said.
Mr. Obama is proposing an increase in the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9 an hour.
Boehner also said Wednesday "it's hard to imagine" the Republican-led House and Democratic-controlled Senate reaching a budget deal.
Boehner, in interview with The Associated Press the day after the State of the Union Address, said Congress must find a way to reconcile its disagreements over fiscal matters in order to address the nation's long-term spending problems.
Boehner also dismissed Mr. Obama's proposal for universal preschool for all 4-year-olds, saying that getting the federal government involved in that process would be "a good way to screw it up."