House Speaker Paul Ryan, while unveiling a House initiative aimed at lifting people out of poverty, told reporters at a press conference that raising the nation's minimum wage to $15 is not the way to help Americans improve their problems.
"I think it will do more harm than good," said Ryan, who was at the House of Help City of Hope organization in Washington to outline the first phase of "A Better Way,"
a House agenda created to tackle some of the nation's largest challenges.
Council members in the District of Columbia are expected to vote for a $15 minimum wage agreement on Tuesday, with the new wage level to be implemented by 2020. Ryan said he believes such legislation serves to limit entry level jobs, not enhance them.
"I started working at McDonald's and it was a great way to learn skills," the Wisconsin Republican told reporters. "When you price jobs out of place from people who are starting, they're not going to get a start. There are far better ways of helping economic growth. There are so many things contain in this reform plan that shows a better way to get people up and and their feet."
The rest the agenda being rolled out will deal with getting a faster growing economy, having more upward mobility, and having more take home pay, he explained,
"There are better ways of achieving economic growth and upward mobility than a reform that the Congressional Budget Office says could cost millions of jobs," he continued.
Further, he denied that lawmakers are keeping a cap on the minimum wage.
"The whole point is having an economy that bids up wages," said Ryan. "The whole purpose of our agenda is not capping wages, it's unleashing wages and having the kind of economy and economic growth and the skills training, the education, the welfare to work programs that help get people better jobs in a better economy that has more promising future for them."
According to a press release issued by Ryan's office, the plan will work to:
- Tailor benefits to people's needs.
- Improve skills and schools.
- Plan and save for the future.
- Demand results.
The ideas were developed by the Task Force on Poverty, Opportunity, and Upward Mobility, which includes: Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas; Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, R-Georgia; Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline, R-Minnesota; Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas; and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, Ryan's office said.
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