Search Form
Now choose a category »

Public Statements

Legislative Program

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

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 at 2 p.m. for legislative debate. As announced previously, no votes are scheduled on Monday. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, the House will meet at 10 a.m. for morning-hour and at noon for legislative business. First votes of the week will occur no earlier than 2 p.m. on Tuesday. On Friday, the House will meet at 9 a.m. for legislative business. Last votes for the week are expected no later than 3 p.m.

Mr. Speaker, the House will consider a few suspensions next week, a complete list of which will be announced by the close of business Friday.

On those suspensions, I am pleased to announce that the House will consider H.R. 2019, the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act sponsored by Representatives Gregg Harper and Peter Welch, which has over 2,000 citizen cosponsors, and puts into practice what I hope we will all agree on, which is to place a priority on pediatric medical research over political party conventions.

In addition, Mr. Speaker, there are a number of legislative items which may become available for consideration next week, including legislation pertaining to the sustainable growth rate in Medicare, a budget agreement, and legislation pertaining to farm programs, including potentially a full farm bill conference report.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

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

Mr. Speaker, I remind the gentleman that the expiration of the benefits that he just referred to were benefits that were passed by this Congress 5 years ago as emergency spending, as emergency need, at a time in which we were facing near bottom in terms of our economy, the fallouts of the financial collapse; and those benefits, again, were brought about in those contexts.

I would say to the gentleman further, Mr. Speaker, that if he were to look at the jobs legislation that this House has passed, all of which is awaiting action in the Senate--the SKILLS Act, the Working Families Flexibility Act, the Keystone pipeline, the REINS Act, the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act, Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act, Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Act, and the Veterans Economic Opportunity Act--all of these are measures which the House passed because, I think the gentleman would agree with me, the best way to address the chronically unemployed is to help them get back to work. These bills, especially the SKILLS Act, was one specifically designed to do that, to help those chronically unemployed to access the necessary skills that they need to enter the job market of today.

I would also further point out, Mr. Speaker, that this week, December 3, the Congressional Budget Office issued a report in response to a request for the extension of unemployment benefits in which it said that some unemployed workers who would be eligible for those benefits would reduce the intensity of their job search and remain unemployed longer, which would tend to decrease output and employment. This is the Congressional Budget Office speaking on the question that the gentleman raised.

Mr. Speaker, I would say that such policies, if we were to continue, would lead to greater Federal deficit, which would eventually reduce the Nation's output and income slightly below what would occur under current law. So I think that we should be focused on how we get folks back to work. That is where the House has been focused. Unfortunately, after 140-some bills we passed over to the Senate, they still await even consideration at all by that body.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

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

Mr. Speaker, I remind the gentleman that the expiration of the benefits that he just referred to were benefits that were passed by this Congress 5 years ago as emergency spending, as emergency need, at a time in which we were facing near bottom in terms of our economy, the fallouts of the financial collapse; and those benefits, again, were brought about in those contexts.

I would say to the gentleman further, Mr. Speaker, that if he were to look at the jobs legislation that this House has passed, all of which is awaiting action in the Senate--the SKILLS Act, the Working Families Flexibility Act, the Keystone pipeline, the REINS Act, the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act, Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act, Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Act, and the Veterans Economic Opportunity Act--all of these are measures which the House passed because, I think the gentleman would agree with me, the best way to address the chronically unemployed is to help them get back to work. These bills, especially the SKILLS Act, was one specifically designed to do that, to help those chronically unemployed to access the necessary skills that they need to enter the job market of today.

I would also further point out, Mr. Speaker, that this week, December 3, the Congressional Budget Office issued a report in response to a request for the extension of unemployment benefits in which it said that some unemployed workers who would be eligible for those benefits would reduce the intensity of their job search and remain unemployed longer, which would tend to decrease output and employment. This is the Congressional Budget Office speaking on the question that the gentleman raised.

Mr. Speaker, I would say that such policies, if we were to continue, would lead to greater Federal deficit, which would eventually reduce the Nation's output and income slightly below what would occur under current law. So I think that we should be focused on how we get folks back to work. That is where the House has been focused. Unfortunately, after 140-some bills we passed over to the Senate, they still await even consideration at all by that body.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, I would say to the gentleman that the discussions that I have had with Chairman Ryan would lead me to some optimism that the two sides actually can come to an agreement. The agreement has not been made, so I don't want to say that there is a deal; but I am optimistic that, in fact, this time of year when the differences between the two sides have certainly been on display all year long, that perhaps we could agree that we need to reduce the deficit. We need to do something about the wasteful spending. And once again, I don't think the gentleman, nor I, thinks that the sequester is the best method to cut spending. It is indiscriminate. It cuts bad programs the same way as good programs, to put it simply. There are better ways.

Our side has always said, Mr. Speaker, that we have got to do something about the mandatory programs, the autopilot spending of the Federal Government that is disproportionately causing our deficit. I am hopeful that next week we can show the people of this country that we can produce something that is smarter than the way we are going about things now.

Obviously, a big concern to me is the national security and the defense of this country, as I know it is for the gentleman. And so again, I am hopeful that will be the case.

Now, the form that that agreement may or may not take I think right now is undetermined. I think it would be premature to even guess at that, and I would say to the gentleman that I know that he joins me in hoping that there is an agreement where we can maintain the trajectory in reducing spending and do it in a smarter way so we can get about the business of prioritizing the expenditure of taxpayer dollars here in this House. Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, I would say to the gentleman that the discussions that I have had with Chairman Ryan would lead me to some optimism that the two sides actually can come to an agreement. The agreement has not been made, so I don't want to say that there is a deal; but I am optimistic that, in fact, this time of year when the differences between the two sides have certainly been on display all year long, that perhaps we could agree that we need to reduce the deficit. We need to do something about the wasteful spending. And once again, I don't think the gentleman, nor I, thinks that the sequester is the best method to cut spending. It is indiscriminate. It cuts bad programs the same way as good programs, to put it simply. There are better ways.

Our side has always said, Mr. Speaker, that we have got to do something about the mandatory programs, the autopilot spending of the Federal Government that is disproportionately causing our deficit. I am hopeful that next week we can show the people of this country that we can produce something that is smarter than the way we are going about things now.

Obviously, a big concern to me is the national security and the defense of this country, as I know it is for the gentleman. And so again, I am hopeful that will be the case.

Now, the form that that agreement may or may not take I think right now is undetermined. I think it would be premature to even guess at that, and I would say to the gentleman that I know that he joins me in hoping that there is an agreement where we can maintain the trajectory in reducing spending and do it in a smarter way so we can get about the business of prioritizing the expenditure of taxpayer dollars here in this House.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT


Source:
Skip to top
Back to top