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December 21, 2006
Bush Supports Minimum Wage Boost, with a Catch

President Bush says he supports raising the minimum wage by $2.10, but he wants the increase to be packaged with new tax and regulatory breaks for small businesses.

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In a press conference yesterday, President Bush said that he supports raising the minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour over a two-year period.

"I believe we should do it in a way that does not punish the millions of small businesses that are creating most of the new jobs in our country," Bush said. "So I support pairing it with targeted tax and regulatory relief to help these small businesses stay competitive and to help keep our economy growing. I look forward to working with Republicans and Democrats to help both small business owners and workers when Congress convenes in January."

Democrats have vowed to raise the minimum wage when they take control of Congress in January. However, they have previously balked at packaging a minimum-wage increase with tax cuts. In August, Democrats in the Senate were successful in blocking legislation that combined a minimum wage increase with estate tax breaks.

Twenty-nine states have approved minimum wages above $5.15 per hour. Ten of those states have tied future minimum-wage changes to inflation.

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