Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who gave the Republican response to the State of The Union Tuesday, came out in opposition to minimum wage laws Wednesday, following President Barack Obama's proposal in Tuesday night's address to raise the minimum wage to $9 per hour.
"I support people making more than $9 an hour. I want people to make as much as they can," Rubio responded to Charlie Rose on CBS' "This Morning."
But he continued, "I don't think a minimum wage law works."
"I want people to make a lot more than $9," he said. "Nine dollars is not enough. The problem is that you can't do that by mandating it in the minimum wage laws. Minimum wage laws have never worked in terms of helping the middle class attain more prosperity."
Rubio said that his proposal instead would work to foster an environment for "good-paying jobs," noting that the minimum wage law would not create more growth.
"A minimum wage law, as good as it may sound at the outset, is not the way to do it," he said.
A Rubio spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for clarification on the senator's position on the current minimum wage law, which mandates minimum pay of $7.25 per hour.
This current minimum wage provides a salary of $14,500 per year, well below the cost of living in many areas of the United States. In addition to raising the minimum wage, Obama also proposed indexing it to inflation to help keep pace with the cost of living. Raising the minimum wage is also broadly popular -- a 2010 poll showed that over two-thirds of Americans support raising it above $7.25 per hour.
Obama pledged in his State of the Union address that raising the minimum wage would raise the incomes of millions of families.
"Even with the tax relief we’ve put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong," Obama said. "Tonight, let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour. This single step would raise the incomes of millions of working families."
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