As predicted, Labor Secretary Elizabeth Hanford Dole urged Congress today to raise the minimum wage to $4.25 an hour but insisted that the hike be accompanied by a sub-minimum "training wage" of $3.35 an hour for new workers.
"Increasing the minimum wage, simply, means a certain loss of jobs and job opportunities," she said in testimony prepared for the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee.
The Bush Administration's position places it in opposition to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), the committee chairman, who has already introduced a plan to gradually hike the 8-year-old minimum of $3.35 to $4.55. Kennedy has already denounced as unacceptable any separate scale below the minimum.
The Administration's plan would raise the wage for the first time since 1981, increasing it gradually to the $4.25 level by 1991.