P.M. BRIEFING : Bush Will Veto Minimum Wage Bill That Exceeds His Plan, Dole Says

<i> From Times wire services </i>

President Bush will not accept any bill to increase the minimum wage beyond his own more modest plan, Labor Secretary Elizabeth Dole said today.

“He’s already compromised. He’s gone more than half way,” she said in an interview on NBC’s “Today” show. “And he’s not going to compromise his principles.”

On Thursday, the House approved a plan to boost the wage floor from $3.35 to $4.55 an hour by late 1991 and to include a two-month sub-minimum “training” wage for new workers. The Bush proposal would boost the minimum wage to $4.25 an hour by 1992. It also would include a six-month training wage.

Bush believes that going beyond his plan would boost unemployment by reducing the number of minimum-wage jobs as employers moved to economize.


Dole was asked whether threatening a veto over the 30-cent-an-hour difference would be a “losing proposition” for Republicans. “Not at all. Not when it’s going to cost hundreds of thousands of lost jobs and lost job opportunities,” she said.