View Header


Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 22, 1996


An increase in the minimum wage would honor our values: work, family, responsibility, and opportunity. You cannot raise a family on $4.25 an hour. Over the years, both parties have worked together to ensure that the minimum wage keeps up with the cost of living. To continue that commitment to working families, I have challenged Congress to raise the minimum wage by 90 cents. It is clear that a bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives stands ready to pass this increase.

But the House leadership is today proposing a giant fraud on the American people. Their legislation will eliminate the minimum wage for all workers hired by fully two-thirds of American businesses. I hope Senator Dole will join me in opposing this extreme measure. We must not tolerate sweatshops and a repeal of wage protections for millions of Americans, as a condition of assuring a living wage for some workers.

Let me be clear: Eliminating the minimum wage is no way to raise it. If Congress sends me a bill to eliminate the minimum wage and wage protection for millions of workers, I will veto it. Speaker Gingrich and Majority Leader Dole should allow an honest up-or-down vote on the minimum wage.