FLASHBACK: Boehner on the Minimum Wage Increase: Rather ‘Commit Suicide’

By Penny Starr | February 24, 2014 | 11:50 AM EST

(CNSNews.com) – In a 1996 interview with the Weekly Standard, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) -- now the House Speaker -- said he would rather end his life than pass a “clean” minimum wage bill, or one without any amendments or conditions.

“I'll commit suicide before I vote on a clean minimum wage bill,” Boehner said in the interview, which was reported by The Hill on Friday.

Boehner voted against the 1996 bill that raised the wage to $4.75 on Oct. 1 and then to $5.15 in Sept. 1997.

He also voted against the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, which raised the wage from $5.15 to $7.25 in three step over two years.

President Barack Obama has made increasing the minimum wage again – this time to $10.10 an hour – a last-term priority. He's already raised the wage for federal contractors, and he wants Congress to do the same for the rest of the nation.

But Boehner, who voted against the increase in 1996, is still opposed to a federally mandated minimum wage.

In a Jan. 28 article posted online, MSNBC quoted Boehner as saying such an increase would hurt low-income Americans.

“When it comes to the federal minimum wage – listen, I used to be an employee – when you raise the cost of something, you get less of it,” said Boehner, who famously worked in his father’s bar before being elected to Congress. “And we know from increases in the minimum wage in the past that hundreds of thousands of low income Americans have lost their jobs.”