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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 for yielding, and would respond by saying that I think the gentleman knows that both the Speaker and I have said that we are not going to consider the Senate bill because we object to the Senate bill, although we do want to make some progress in reforming our broken immigration system, and there are plenty of bipartisan efforts underway and in discussion between Members on both sides of the aisle to try and address what is broken about our immigration system. The committees are still working on this issue, and I expect us to move forward this year in trying to address reform and what is broken about our system.

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

As the gentleman knows, the conference committee has been appointed, it is meeting, and we anticipate a productive discussion on the farm bill and the reforms that the House voted on in all parts of the bill. We hopefully look forward to resolution on the differences between the Senate so that we can produce yet another bill that can be signed into law.

I would just underscore the fact, Mr. Speaker, that talks and negotiations are, yes, the way to go about trying to accomplish more for the American people. Along those lines, it is about trying to focus on the things and the beliefs that we have in common and not allowing those things that we disagree on to get in the way. If that spirit of negotiation is adopted by both sides, I believe there could be progress on the farm bill as well as other issues.

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

I agree with the gentleman that it is desirable. I look at it as a priority that we allow for the appropriations process to begin again, but that will require us to arrive at an agreement on what that top line number is, as the gentleman knows as a former appropriator.

We have said and maintained all along on the majority side of the aisle that the sequester is not the best way to go about achieving spending reductions, and I have said continuously that we would like to exchange for sequester mandatory savings and put that into law in exchange for the sequester. There are items in the President's budget that we agree on as well. That goes to my point, Mr. Speaker, of working and focusing on things that we have in common, things that we believe in in common, and leaving aside those things that we disagree on.

The main item that we disagree on in these discussions has been higher taxes. The Republicans and the majority in the House do not believe we ought to raise taxes, and we will not go about raising taxes in exchange for sequester relief. What we want to do instead is to allow for sequester relief and put into law mandatory savings that, in the long run, will exceed the kind of spending reductions that are in the sequester. They are smarter reductions. They make more sense and will allow us to provide, as the gentleman said, for the needs of those who are most wanting in our society. It will also allow for the defense of our country and will put us on to a path of fiscal stability.

Mr. Speaker, it takes us focusing and limiting our discussions to those things we have in common. I believe that is the best way forward.

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

As we just discussed, we expect there to be a farm bill conference report that we will consider here in the House. We will also look to consider items dealing with our domestic energy supply and the ability for us to maximize the indigenous assets and resources we have here to increase our competitiveness as a country for investment, for job opportunity, and to increase the standard of living for all of working middle class Americans as well as all Americans.

I would also say to the gentleman that if the Senate acts in time, we look forward to a conference report on the National Defense Authorization Act as well as various provisions that expire at the end of the year. Obviously, we have SGR and other things that will expire that we will have to take time to deal with.

Obviously, we maintain our focus on the rollout of ObamaCare, Mr. Speaker, and our committees will be hard at work trying to understand exactly what is going on with the signup on these exchanges and to once again assert that it is only fair that all Americans are treated equally and fairly under this law, as is expected under every other law.

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