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CBS "Early Show" - Transcript


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MS. RODRIGUEZ: House Republicans have major concerns about President Obama's plan to bail out the economy, and they've requested an urgent meeting with him.

We're joined this morning by Congressman Eric Cantor of Virginia, the Republican whip.

Good morning, Congressman.

REP. CANTOR: Good morning, Maggie.

MS. RODRIGUEZ: I know that you wanted to meet with the president today to talk about the all-important economic stimulus plan, and you were told he couldn't do it. Is it possible the bipartisan honeymoon is over already?

REP. CANTOR: No, I don't think so at all, Maggie. This is actually the second day that he's been in office. But there's no question everybody here in Washington, as in around the country, feels that we've got to do all we can to get this economy moving again. So we're looking forward to going to meet with the president. We met with him several weeks ago, and he asked us to bring him our ideas about how we believe that we ought to best fix this economy.

And frankly, President Obama has been talking, I believe, in the right direction, that we ought to provide tax relief to middle-class families in America and we ought to make sure that we do all we can for small businesses, for the self-employed and for entrepreneurs. That's how we can make sure we stem the job losses and get back on track.

The problem, Maggie, is on Capitol Hill there's a lot of discussion about ramping up more government spending. And that is a real question, I believe, that we have, and hopefully we can work together with our colleagues on the Hill to try and reverse that, because we have seen the Congressional Budget Office come out with reports on the congressional Democrats' spending plan, and frankly that report is fairly clear; the spending plan proposed by congressional Democrats does not stimulate the economy. And, after all, any stimulus bill has got to go about creating jobs.

MS. RODRIGUEZ: You don't want spending; you want tax cuts. It sounds like you want it all your way. Where's the compromise?

REP. CANTOR: Well, you know, if you listen to what President Obama's plan has in it, he's talking about providing relief, tax relief. And that is in stark contrast to what the congressional Democrats are saying, because they believe that the bulk of what should come out of Washington is a spending plan, but spending in a way that doesn't have an impact in terms of job creation.

Just think about it. Why would necessarily buying 600,000 new cars for federal agencies necessarily stimulate the economy? It may be a good thing, but why is it stimulative? There were provisions in the bill for tens of millions of dollars or more in providing for weatherizing one's home. Again, maybe a worthy goal, but how is that stimulative?

MS. RODRIGUEZ: All right.

REP. CANTOR: We've got to make sure that we get our priorities straight and create jobs again.

MS. RODRIGUEZ: All right, Eric Cantor, thank you. We'll see what the president says at the meeting, which I believe is now scheduled for Thursday. Thanks for your time this morning.

REP. CANTOR: Thanks, Maggie.


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