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Public Statements

Legislative Program

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, 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 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 on Monday, a complete list of which will be announced by close of business today. In addition, we'll take up an expected Senate amendment to the House's continuing resolution, ensuring that the Federal Government remains funded beyond March 27. We'll also consider a resolution providing for the funding of the House's committees. This is a responsible resolution that makes tough choices and abides by sequestration.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, the Republican House will consider and pass a budget resolution on time for a third consecutive year. The Republican plan, put forward by Chairman Paul Ryan in the Budget Committee, will increase economic growth and job creation, cut wasteful government spending, and strengthen our entitlement programs. And for the first time in recent memory, the House budget will balance in 10 years.

Before I yield back, I would like to acknowledge the launch of the House Historian's new Web site, ``The House and Selma: Bridging History and Memory.'' This important historical record is now available for the public to explore at It will soon include oral testimonies from Members of Congress, like John Lewis, describing their role and contributions to the civil rights movement.

I was proud to have joined Congressman John Lewis, Congresswomen Terri Sewell and Martha Roby, the gentleman from Maryland, as well as others, in that trip to Selma and Montgomery this year. But to those in particular who were actively involved in the unveiling of this project, I look forward to its growth in the years to come.


Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, as the gentleman knows, the CR, and the amendments that the Senate is working on, contains within it measures dealing with certain sectors of government that prescribe for spending plans that avoid that very blunt, indiscriminate approach that the gentleman speaks about in the across-the-board sequestration formula. The gentleman knows I agree with him. These kinds of cuts are not smart. They are indiscriminate. They cut good programs just like they cut bad programs.

I don't think any of us would choose to do things that way. I look forward to working with him to see what we can do to even expand the prescription to go beyond that which is in the sequester.


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

What I would say in response, as the gentleman knows, it has been the tradition of the House, both with Republican and Democratic majorities, that when the budget comes to the floor, there are substitutes that are offered. As the gentleman knows, the budget is a very complex and large document, and there are easy ways to perhaps distort one's intent by offering amendments. I believe--and I would just venture to guess--that's why the tradition is as it is, both under Democratic majority and Republican, which is to allow for substitutes, and anticipate a very robust debate around the offering of substitutes, as well as the passage of our budget next week.


Mr. CANTOR. Well, I appreciate the gentleman and his sentiments in wanting to try and work together.

As he knows, I have always held the position that there are going to be differences in this House. I hear the gentleman saying he doesn't want to support the Ryan budget; that's why we're going to have debate on his party's alternative budget. But I agree with the gentleman, we ought to try and reach some type of resolution. The best way forward to do that, Mr.

Speaker, in my mind, is to be able to set the differences aside.

We have big differences on health care. We believe that ObamaCare is not good for this country, not good for health care, and we're going to continue to advocate that position. Because, unfortunately, what we're going to see is a continuing increase in cost, rate shock that will come into play over the next year, where more and more of the American people are going to realize this is going to be a very expensive endeavor, with a big question mark as to whether the quality of health care is going to stay the same, improve, or whether it will stagnate and become worse. That question is still unanswered.

We believe very strongly in our position that it ought to be patient-centered care. We ought not have this board of 15 unelected bureaucrats empowered to cut or deny care for seniors. As the gentleman knows, we disagree strongly on health care.

We disagree strongly on taxes. We don't want to raise taxes. We just had a huge tax increase in the beginning of the year. We don't think you ought to be raising taxes in this town every quarter. But every time we hear from the President--because we heard, and he was nice enough to come and visit our conference this week, we heard yet again the cry for more taxes.

We saw an introduction of the Murray budget in the Senate--$1 trillion of more taxes. To try and say that the American people are going to be benefited by that kind of tax levy I think is something we take strong exception with.

But the gentleman's right: we can agree on some things. Let's go find where we can agree. And I look forward to doing the things that we can do together, like extending the welfare reforms that we did this week, like making sure that we also do the things we did today on the floor--without much help from the other side--and that is, Mr. Speaker, try and put some good government practices into place.

That SKILLS Act came from a recommendation of the GAO. It said you've got 50 programs, a maze of bureaucracy. Unemployed people have a very difficult time of even beginning to navigate that maze if they want skills to get back to work.

That was the essence behind the bill.

We also said you need some flexibility. Take people and put them back to work. So get the community colleges and the other training forces in place to respond to the marketplace where there are job openings, not some micromanaged idea of what that should be from Washington. I think we can agree on some kind of commonsense principles like that.

So, again, I appreciate the sentiment of the gentleman and look forward to working with him on some of the very big challenges we face, as well as those issues that working families face every single day.


Mr. CANTOR. Just to respond to the gentleman's allegations that somehow there wasn't an open process in the passage of the SKILLS Act, if I recall, this week there were reports that the gentleman's members, the members of the minority, walked out on the committee markup. Now, if you can't show up for work, how are you going to participate in the markup and shaping of a bill? The committee process was fair; it was open. There were hearings. There was a markup, and the gentleman's members on the minority side chose not to participate.

Now, if you're asking what the American people expect, I think they expect that there's going to be disagreement, but I think they expect everybody to show up for work, and that didn't happen.

So I say to the gentleman, we continue--and he has my commitment, and he knows that--to work together and to have an open process. Our Speaker has continued to uphold that as a goal. So I hope we can sort of resolve that lingering question, especially around this bill. The SKILLS Act is something we should have all agreed on.


Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, I would be glad to respond to the gentleman's request. Just to give a general idea of the kinds of things that we'll be considering upcoming, we'll look to do and consider some cybersecurity legislation that will result from the work of multiple committees. The gentleman knows, as well as I, that we face a very serious threat in the cybersecurity arena, and we want to take action as a House. We want to take bipartisan action, and I look forward to working with him on that.

We're also going to be taking up the Working Families Flexibility Act. This will be a bill designed to provide working moms and dads with some flexibility as they try and manage their obligations at work and at home.

We also are going to be looking at taking up some measures in the area of health care and innovation and in pursuit of an agenda that focuses on medical research. I know the gentleman has been a big champion of that, and we, as well, believe it's very important for us to maintain the American leadership in innovation which is premised upon the devotion of resources to medical research, to curing disease, and to developing therapies that increase and enhance the quality of life for so many Americans who are afflicted by disease. We'll be working on that.

We'll also be looking at some legislation in the area of domestic energy production that will lead to more jobs, that will lead to more energy independence for America.

These are the kinds of things that we look to in April, Mr. Speaker, and I would tell the gentleman, again, I look forward to working with him in an open process, in a bipartisan fashion.


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