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Public Statements

Legislative Program

Floor Speech

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Location: Washington, DC

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

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, no votes are expected in the House. On Tuesday, 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 Wednesday and Thursday, the House will meet at 10 a.m. for morning-hour and noon for legislative business. On Friday, the House will meet at 9 a.m. for legislative business. Last votes of the week are expected no later than 3 p.m.

Mr. Speaker, the House will consider a number of bills under suspension of the rules, a complete list of which will be announced by the close of business tomorrow.

Among next week's suspensions will be a noteworthy bill, H.R. 2146, authored by Congressman Darrell Issa and known as the DATA Act. This is an important step in our continuing effort to make government more accountable, accessible, and transparent, especially when it comes to the expenditure of taxpayer dollars.

It is also possible that the House will consider a motion to go to conference and motion to instruct conferees on the surface transportation authorization bill.

In addition, Mr. Speaker, we expect a full debate next week on the importance of our Nation's cybersecurity. The House will consider a number of bipartisan bills to reduce obstacles to voluntary information sharing between the private sector and government, secure our Nation's infrastructure, better protect government systems and combat foreign threats.

A number of committees have been involved in this effort, Mr. Speaker, including the Intelligence Committee, Homeland Security, Oversight and Government Reform, Science, Judiciary, and Energy and Commerce.

Of the bills coming to the floor, we will consider H.R. 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, under a rule. This important legislation is authored by Chairman Mike Rogers and cosponsored by Ranking Member Dutch Ruppersberger.

I thank the gentleman for yielding.

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Mr. CANTOR. I thank the gentleman.

Mr. Speaker, I will tell the gentleman we have every intention of going forward, and, at this point, I don't know what could come up and preclude us from doing so. But we look forward to working with the gentleman over the course of the next two-plus months to come to resolution so that we can provide some certainty to States, industries, private sector, public, and the rest with regard to our transportation infrastructure.

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Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, I would say to the gentleman that, as he knows, working through the committee at this point are the CJS bill and the energy and water bill. It is our intention to bring one of those forward the week that he indicates, May 7, to be debated.

The Speaker has consistently come down on the side of wanting there to be an open process. I think that, given the House's track record on appropriations bills and the debates surrounding them, we are hoping that we can have a deliberate debate around the substance and policy of the issues and set as a model for going forward.

But I would say to the gentleman, as far as we go right now, we are looking at May 7 to be the time in which we bring one of those bills to the floor for deliberation and a vote.

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Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, I would say to the gentleman, first of all, the gentleman knows that we did pass a budget in the House. We didn't have a conference committee report to vote on because the Senate did not pass a budget, which has then forced us to have to deem what the House passed--again, the Senate having gone way past a thousand days without a budget.

So I would say to the gentleman it is our perception that what the deal was in August, the BCA, was a ceiling. And that we want to try in every way we can to save taxpayer dollars, and that is a rule which we're continuing to follow. The Appropriations Committee has taken up its obligations and is working on the bills, and we will be bringing up those bills consistent with that rule.

Again, I say to the gentleman, we look forward to a robust, policy-oriented debate on the spending issues facing this country throughout the appropriations process and look forward to a deliberative civil process so that we can get our work done and deliver on what the people expect--and that is to begin to shave the spending that has gotten out of control in Washington over the last several decades.

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Mr. CANTOR. As the gentleman knows, Ways and Means is continuing in their mission to conduct hearings as far as tax reform is concerned. They just had a hearing on retirement provisions and what comprehensive tax reform means when it comes to retirement provisions.

The gentleman knows that tax reform doesn't come easy in this town. And we are all, I think, bound by the commitment to try and simplify the code with the differences that we have. And we're going to continue to look to see what Chairman Camp and the committee's work produces. But with maintaining our commitment that we believe, as you do--Mr. Speaker, I would say the gentleman joins me in wanting to simplify the code, bring down rates, get rid of loopholes, and the rest.

Again, I would say we're looking to our committees to continuing their work. They're doing good work toward that end exposing the issues and identifying them so that we can get this in a way that is responding to what the public really wants to see, which is a simplified Tax Code and a much fairer way.

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Mr. CANTOR. First of all, I'd say the gentleman has a very interesting question if we're talking about the scheduling of the floor and how we're going forward, but I'll be delighted to answer the question.

The bill that we passed today in a bipartisan way is a bill that responds to the urgency that small business is feeling and, frankly, the people of this country are feeling that the economy is not growing quickly enough.

Is it a panacea? No. Do we want to see comprehensive overall tax reform? Absolutely. But as the gentleman knows, our side and his have big differences when it comes to tax reform.

Unfortunately, the discussions that ensued last year were hung up on the notion that your side really, really continues to advocate higher taxes. You want to start with a baseline that's just higher than ours. We don't believe right now that we ought to assume Washington has a revenue problem. Instead, we ought to fix the spending problem before you start jacking up more taxes, if at all.

So this measure that we passed is something that is a first start towards a pro-growth outlook to empower businesses and allow men and women who are out there taking risks starting businesses and creating jobs a little easier time in doing so, allowing them to keep more of the money to put back into their business and allocate the capital the best way they see of doing so, not Washington.

Again, I know the gentleman knows we have a difference of opinion when it comes to that. But, again, it is a small step in a bridge toward what we all would like to see but are unable to accomplish right now, which is overall tax reform.

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