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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.

Madam Speaker, on Monday, the House will meet in pro forma session at 2 p.m., and no votes are expected. 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.

Madam Speaker, Members are advised that, pending ongoing discussions on the continuing resolution, the House may need to be in session during the week of September 23 and possibly into the weekend. Members should expect an announcement next week regarding when the House would meet during the week of September 23. This is a change from the previously announced schedule.

Madam Speaker, next week, the House will consider a few bills under suspension of the rules, a complete list of which will be announced by the close of business tomorrow.

The House will likely consider H.R. 1526, the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act, sponsored by the chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, Representative Doc Hastings. In addition to improving forest health and helping to prevent catastrophic wildfires, this legislation contains a short-term extension of the Secure Rural Schools program.

In addition, I expect the House to consider H.R. 761, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013, authored by Representative Mark Amodei; and H.R. 687, the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2013, drafted by Representative Paul Gosar. These bills, both from the Natural Resources Committee, will foster economic growth and create jobs for the middle class.

The House will also consider the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act, authored by Agriculture chairman, Representative Frank Lucas. This legislation restores the intent of the bipartisan welfare reforms adopted in 1996 to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It also refocuses the program on those who need it most. No law-abiding beneficiary who meets the income and asset tests of the current program and is willing to comply with the applicable work requirements will lose his benefits under the bill.

Finally, Madam Speaker, Members should be prepared to vote on the continuing resolution as the new fiscal year approaches.

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

First, I would say I'm glad he received the news that we may very well be in session in the last week of September the way he has because I do think it reflects the seriousness with which both sides take the pending fiscal issues and deadlines that we are about to confront both in the continuing resolution as well as in the debt ceiling, itself.

Now, Madam Speaker, I've set aside the statement that my friend, the Democratic whip, has indicated about not doing anything this week, because we just voted on a bipartisan bill enforcing accountability on ObamaCare.

As the Democratic whip knows, ObamaCare is growingly unpopular in this country. In fact, in the latest public poll out today, nearly 60 percent of Americans reject ObamaCare and the direction in health care, and we are serious and committed on this side of the aisle for a better future for health care. The President, himself, has said that it's not ready for prime time and has issued waivers for businesses, for insurance companies. We need to have a waiver and a delay for all people of ObamaCare.

The bill that we passed today says that the administration is hoping that all of the income subsidies that are still in effect will go forward in a transparent and accountable way. That's really impossible to guard against fraud given that the administration has already exempted corporate America and the businesses from having to comply with the verification of someone's eligibility for subsidies. So there is no way that this law can work; and our side is committed to discussing how we go forward, which is, first and foremost, a delay of ObamaCare.

I'd say to the gentleman that I'm glad that he is willing to sit down and talk, and I would hope that he could impose that upon the administration, because as late as August 27, 2013, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said:

The President has made it clear: we are not going to negotiate over the debt limit.

I would say, Madam Speaker, history has shown us that in periods of divided government there have always been discussions around the fiscal issues of this country; and in fact, the issue of the debt ceiling has provided a forum for resolution on some of those fiscal issues. Going back to Gramm-Rudman-Hollings that was negotiated and settled around a debt ceiling discussion, as was the Congressional Review Act, as was, Madam Speaker, as we know 2 years ago, the Budget Control Act. So I hope that the gentleman could take his dedication to trying to work things out to the White House and say it's time for all of us to sit down and resolve these issues.

Now, as far as the sequester is concerned, I would say to the gentleman he knows I don't think that the sequester is the right way and the best way to go about reducing spending. I mean, just by its very nature, a blunt, across-the-board cut treats programs that you might want to get rid of in the same way that it treats programs that, perhaps, are really doing a great job. That indiscriminate type of cut is something on which we could really do better. We could do a lot better than doing those kinds of cuts, which is exactly our point. We need to sit down and discuss with this administration how we are going to effect the reforms that we need on the entitlement side and effect the delay of ObamaCare. That's what we've got to do, Madam Speaker.

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