Rep. Tom Cole: Obama Using Minimum Wage as 'Political Weapon'

Friday, 02 May 2014 10:49 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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President Barack Obama is using the minimum wage issue as a "political weapon" and isn't serious about working with Republicans to pass an increase, Rep. Tom Cole said.

The debate over raising the minimum wage had been "politicized," the Oklahoma Republican suggested. He said if President Barack Obama wanted an increase, he would offer a compromise.

"He's using this as a political weapon. If he was serious, he would put something else on the table that would attract Republican support. So far, he hasn't done it," Cole told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday.

Story continues below video.



A bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour failed in the Senate Wednesday. Cole said he would consider a minimum wage increase if "there were other things attached to it that would create jobs, like Keystone (XL pipeline) and additional things."

A CBO report in February predicted a wage increase could cost as many as 1 million jobs through 2016. Cole suggested lawmakers could reach a compromise by putting "something that creates jobs with something that, frankly, is clearly going to cost jobs."

Cole maintained the cost of living differs across the country, and that states already have the capability to raise rates. He suggested it was worth considering whether or not a "one-size-fits-all minimum wage makes a lot of sense."

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