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Public Statements

Legislative Program

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CANTOR. I thank the gentleman from Maryland, the Democratic whip, for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, the House will meet at noon for morning-hour and 2 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the House will meet at 10 a.m. for morning-hour and noon for legislative business. On Thursday, the House will meet at 9 a.m. for legislative business, and the last votes of the week are expected no later than 3 p.m. No votes are expected in the House on Friday.

Mr. Speaker, the House will consider a few bills under suspension of the rules, which will be announced by the close of business tomorrow. The House will also consider H.R. 3309, the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act, offered by Congressman Greg Walden of Oregon. And for the second year in a row, the House will consider and pass a budget resolution. Mr. Speaker, we also expect to take further action on our Nation's infrastructure, with authority expiring at the end of next week. Finally, I am hopeful that the Senate will clear the House's bipartisan JOBS Act today. This bill has been delayed too long, but I look forward to the President signing it into law.

I thank the gentleman from Maryland, and I yield back.

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Mr. CANTOR. I thank the gentleman.

And I would respond by saying to him that, no, I'm not prepared to bring that bill to the floor because I differ with him in his assumption that there would be enough bipartisan support to pass that bill in the House. And from all that I know about what's in the Senate bill, there is a lot of disagreement over how that bill was constructed, as far as House Members are concerned.

I would say to the gentleman, our plan is very clear. We have been outspoken on this. We do not want to disrupt the flow of Federal transportation dollars, which is why we will be bringing to the floor next week a bill to provide for an extension of 90 days so that perhaps, as the gentleman would like, as would I, we could come together as two bodies and two parties on an agreement to provide more certainty.

But as to the gentleman's suggestion that we need to be doing this to be consistent with what has been done historically, I would say to the gentleman, he knows, as well as I, that we are in very, very difficult economic times. We have never faced the kind of problems that we face today as a country, from a fiscal standpoint. Unfortunately, transportation funding is no different. We're just out of money. So we're trying to take the approach that most American families and businesses would take, that is, to try to spend within our means, to come up with some innovative ways to look at transportation needs and demands in the future and our being able to meet them, and we look forward to working with the gentleman in a bipartisan fashion to try to effect that end.

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Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, I would just say to the gentleman, I guess we are going to agree to disagree. We're dealing with the reality that we don't have the money, and we're trying to fashion a path forward that both sides can agree upon.

Obviously, we cannot agree upon that next week with all the differences that still exist, which is why we're creating the construct of a 90-day extension, which then gives us the possibility to get into conference with the Senate to try and produce a longer-term transportation funding bill.

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Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, I would say to the gentleman that the gentleman knows very well what I refer to, that the disproportionate cause of our deficit has to do with health care entitlements. And actually, as the gentleman knows, last year and this year we are proposing a solution, a plan, that does not resolve the issue overnight, but it puts us on a path towards balancing the budget.

This year, our budget chairman has worked together with the Senator from Oregon on the gentleman's side of the aisle in the Senate to propose a solution that responds to some of the complaints about the path that was taken before. Again, it is a bipartisan solution. It is a plan to save Medicare. Unlike the gentleman's party or his President, we are actually proposing a solution to the problem and saving the program for this generation and the next.

Again, I'm sure the gentleman disagrees with my characterization and I with his. But to answer his question, to get back on track as far as the schedule and the fashion in which these bills are going to be brought to the floor, yes, consistent with precedent, we will be allowing full substitutes to be offered on both sides of the aisle.

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Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, I respond to the gentleman by saying it is our view that the agreement reached in August at the top line was that, a cap. We all know we've got to do something about spending in this country, and the top line, or 302(a), within our budget resolution will reflect that top line provided in the budget resolution for the second year of the budget that we posed last year.

Again, we view it very much that we need to continue to try--at least try--to save taxpayer dollars when we are generating over $1 trillion of deficits every year, and I think the taxpayers expect no less.

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Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, I'd just say to the gentleman this is somewhat of an academic discussion given that the Senate is not going to pass a budget. And I remind the gentleman, again, it takes two Houses to go and reconcile a budget, and it takes two Houses and two parties to actually go forward. So we look forward to working with the gentleman. I told him it is our belief that we need to respond to the urgency of the fiscal crisis and do everything we can to bring down the level of spending in this town. I look forward to working with the gentleman towards that end.

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