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Public Statements

Legislative Program

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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

Last week, Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Maryland was kind enough to note and celebrate my birthday with a colloquy, and luckily, I get to return the favor today. So, Mr. Speaker, I would like to say happy birthday to my friend, Mr. Hoyer, and wish him many, many more birthdays.

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Mr. CANTOR. 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. Last votes of the week are expected no later than 3 p.m. On Friday, no votes are expected.

Mr. Speaker, the House will consider a few suspensions next week, a complete list of which will be announced by close of business today. In addition, the House will consider H.R. 1797, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. I also expect the House to consider H.R. 1947, the Federal Agricultural Reform and Risk Management Act. Chairman Frank Lucas and the members of the Agriculture Committee have worked very hard to produce a 5-year farm bill with strong reforms, and I look forward to a full debate on the floor.

I thank the gentleman and wish him a happy birthday again.

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Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman, and I would respond by saying that it's certainly our intention to complete deliberation on the farm bill. The Speaker has continued to commit himself and our conference to an open process for this House, and I look forward to a robust debate on what, as the gentleman knows, has been a bipartisan effort at the committee.

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Mr. CANTOR. I would respond by saying that I do think there is a commitment to genuine and robust debate on all sides. And hopefully, without speaking to details because, as the gentleman knows, the Rules Committee has not met, that would include all subject matter in the bill.

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Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman.

There has been a lot of discussion that I have been receiving, comments, input from Members, and we're looking at weighing those suggestions and inputs as to how the Rules Committee will deliberate in terms of the rule and how the bill comes to the floor.

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Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding, and would respond by saying, as has been the custom in this Congress and last, we will continue to abide by the 3-day notice, and I do think there will be adequate time for review by parties on all sides.

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Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, I do think that the posting of the bill will occur shortly. And I also would tell the gentleman to expect the vote sooner than Wednesday, perhaps on Tuesday. As the gentleman indicated before by his question on the farm bill, that may take up a considerable amount of time and debate. So I would just respond in that way.

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Mr. CANTOR. I thank the gentleman again.

It has always been the commitment on the part of the Speaker and the majority to try and accommodate the need for open debate on issues of contention especially; and not speaking for the Rules Committee, I do think that we'll continue to see that tradition in the House being followed. Again, I thank the gentleman for raising the concern.

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Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman.

Just very quickly I would respond by saying that the gentleman is correct. There has been a lot of debate around the issue that he refers to. There was considerable debate in the HASC committee, and the HASC committee, House Armed Services, came up with a bipartisan approach to the sexual assault issue, and it was inserted into the base bill. And, in fact, it is consistent with President Obama's view and the Pentagon's view on this issue.

So I understand that the gentleman may differ, but it was certainly a bipartisan product that was in the bill. And I hear the gentleman in terms of procedure and perhaps a characterization of a vote; but I do think, at the end, the minority was afforded the motion to recommit.

And the characterization that we believe is a procedural vote, the gentleman takes another view. I understand that the subject matter was the same as these amendments, and these amendments that were not brought forward on the floor were heavily discussed in committee, resolved on a bipartisan basis.

So, again, I understand the gentleman's point and look forward to continuing to do all we can to safeguard the women in our military, and to make sure that we protect all American citizens, which I do think this bipartisan resolution of the issue will do.

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Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman and would say that the Judiciary Committee, under the leadership of Chairman Goodlatte, is very, very involved in the discussion around these issues and is intending to address and begin to address the issue of immigration this month. And certainly my hope is that we, in this House, can see a full debate on the floor throughout the committee process and to make sure that we can address what is a very broken immigration system.

And I know that the gentleman shares with me the commitment to try and do all we can to reflect the notion of trying to address a broken system.

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Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman and would say that, yes, there is a commitment to try to make sure that there is not a doubling of the interest rate to students who would look to incurring debt to go to school.

As the gentleman correctly knows, Mr. Speaker, this House is the only body that has passed a bill to provide for protecting these students against such a rate increase. In fact, the bill that passed the House, as the gentleman knows, was a bill that allows for rates to go into a variable mode, to assure that any increase that would occur is not that increase in the statute, but long term could protect students as well from that kind of a hit.

Now, I've talked to several members of the administration. Our chairman, John Kline, has been in contact, I know, with the Secretary, as well as others, in trying to resolve this issue. Discussions are ongoing. It is my hope, I would tell the gentleman, Mr. Speaker, that we can resolve this issue so that perspective students can be assured that their rates would not double. But it is the House who has provided the pathway and the roadmap to ensure that happens. And we're trying to work with the administration, since the Senate has been unable to act, to avoid this from happening.

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