Entries in Eric Cantor (2)


Boehner, Cantor Pounce on President Obama‚Äôs Rosy View of Private Sector

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Shortly after President Obama arrived at the White House briefing room and assured the American people that the private sector was doing just fine, the top two House Republican leaders condemned his message and urged the president to embrace GOP proposals to help spur economic growth.

“Mr. President, I used to run a small business, and Mr. President, take it from me: The private sector is not doing well,” Speaker of the House John Boehner said incredulously during a news conference arranged quickly after Obama’s news conference. “The American people are still asking the question, ‘Where are the jobs?’”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor echoed the speaker’s reaction, and called on Obama “to stop engaging in the blame game.”

“We just listened to the president say that the private sector is doing fine, and my question to the president would be, ‘Are you kidding?’” Cantor, R-Va., exclaimed. “Did he see the job numbers that came out last week? The private sector is not doing fine.”

Boehner denied the president’s claim that a lack of federal money for state and local governments was at fault for the country’s economic malaise, telling reporters that he believes the true culprit is the federal government, which he said, “continues to spend money that we don’t have.”

“With these looming tax hikes and the regulations coming out of Washington, we have frozen employers in place,” he said. “If we would have a moratorium on regulations and extend all the current tax rates, we would free employers, provide more certainty for them to go out and begin to hire the American people.”

As a wide array of tax provisions are set to expire at the end of the year, Boehner once again repeated the GOP’s intent to pass legislation that would extend all current tax rates and called on the president to embrace that proposition.

“Stopping the looming tax hikes will help job creators because they’ll have more certainty about what the tax rates are going to be and help create a better environment for them to create jobs,” Boehner said. “We’re going to vote next month on extending all of the current tax rates and the president should assure the nation that when this bill gets to his desk, he’ll sign it into law.”

The speaker also disagreed with the assertion that one of the reasons Europe faces an imminent financial disaster is because of the austerity measures that had been put in place, proposals that are much like those pitched by Republicans to address U.S. debt.

“The reason Europe is in the shape that it’s in is because they waited too long to deal with their problems,” Boehner said. “If we don’t get busy dealing with our debt, we’re gonna be in the same shape.”

“Just because Europe has problems doesn’t mean that we can’t begin to solve our problems,” he continued. “We can help American job creators by taking the actions that we’ve outlined. There’s no excuse why we should wait … for the convenience of an election. Let’s get to work today.”

Despite Obama’s request that Congress consider the items on his To Do list, Cantor made it clear that the GOP majority would continue its efforts to counter the administration’s policies.

The House of Representatives has already concluded this week’s legislative business, and lawmakers are now heading back to their districts for another Constituent Work Week, much to the chagrin of House Democrats, who complain that Republicans are putting off dealing with student loan interest rates and the highway bill to fund transportation.

“Republicans are sending Members home for the ninth week-long recess of the year,” Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wrote in a statement Friday. “Their message is clear: they have no intention of creating jobs.  Their only plan is inaction, obstruction, and delay that weakens consumer confidence, causes uncertainty, and jeopardizes our recovery."

The House returns to session June 18.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Cantor Welcomes Obama's Call for Cooperation on Economy

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As President Obama on Tuesday calls on Congress to cooperate on a slate of specific proposals, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor interpreted the president’s message as a positive development in Washington’s quest to help small businesses and rebuild the economy.

“We welcome that,” Cantor, R-Va., said of the to-do list from Obama. “We have been saying for some time now, please, Mr. President, let's set aside the differences and find where we can work together to help small business growth.  That's what'll help the economy.”

Among Obama’s proposals, which he will announce in Albany, N.Y., are a 20 percent tax break for businesses that return manufacturing jobs from abroad and a 10 percent tax credit for companies that hire new workers and increase wages. The president is also calling on Congress to enable homeowners to refinance their mortgages at lower interest rates and create a new Veterans Jobs Corps to help service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan land jobs as law enforcement and firefighters.

Asked whether he believes Republicans will be able to strike common ground with the president and Democrats considering the pace of the campaign season, Cantor reiterated that the focus of both parties should be on repairing the economy.

“We have got to be focused on small businesses,” he said. “The President will put forth a proposal today having to do with helping small businesses, making it easier for them. The difference that he’s got in one of his proposals is he wants to direct small businesses and how they commit their capital, we believe that we ought to let the investors decide on how best to allocate their capital so we can see small businesses grow again."

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican Whip, contemplated the “great contrast” between the president's policies and the legislation Republican are moving on the House floor, emphasizing that Senate Democrats have not passed a budget resolution in more than three years.

“Our focus has been on small- business job creation.  That's where jobs are started,” McCarthy, R-Calif., said. “The president, he's out on the campaign trail, giving five items that we need to do.  I would think his number-one item would be a message to the Senate Democrats:  How can you continue to run a business or a country with no budget?  Three years in a row, a trillion-dollar deficit, year over year, and no budget.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also issued a statement, writing that Obama’s list “shines a bright light on the failure of the House Republicans to address middle class economic security – the ability to get a job, start and expand a business, or own a home.”

“The American people get up every morning facing these challenges and ready to work; now, the Republican Congress must do the same,” Pelosi, D-Calif., stated. “It’s time for Republicans to abandon their agenda of obstruction and work together with Democrats to act on the President’s proposals to create jobs, strengthen the middle class, and grow the economy.  Americans can’t wait.”

Cantor also said that Republicans “believe strongly” that the sequester cuts should be substituted, rather than risk slashing too deep into the Pentagon’s budget.  

“We do not believe that we should be disproportionately impacting the defense of this country, and that's what will happen,” Cantor warned. “We will affect severely the Pentagon's ability to address its mission if we do not substitute the cuts in that sequester.”

Rep. Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget committee, urged Democrats in Congress to channel the bipartisan agreement that the sequester cuts would “decimate our military” into their own proposals if they won’t support the GOP’s alternative.

“The problem is, only the House Republicans are doing something about this,” Ryan, R-Wis., said. “The president has not put out a plan to deal with the sequester.  The Senate has chosen again for three years in a row not only not to pass a budget, but to do nothing to deal with the sequester.”

Monday night, the House Budget Committee passed a reconciliation bill comprised of various spending cuts to replace the cuts in the sequester.  The full House of Representatives is expected to vote on that bill Thursday.  
“We're leading.  We're planning.  We're showing specifics,” Ryan, a front-runner to be Mitt Romney’s running mate, said. “We're showing the American people how, if Congress does its job, we can actually fix this fiscal process, this problem we have, and prevent this sequester from disproportionately decimating our military at a time when we're asking our men and women to sacrifice for our freedoms.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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