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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.

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, the House is not in session. 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.

Mr. Speaker, the House will consider a few suspensions on Tuesday and Wednesday, a complete list of which will be announced by the close of business tomorrow. Of the suspensions, I'm proud to announce that the House will consider a bill by Representative Terri Sewell to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the four young girls who lost their lives in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham 50 years ago, which served as a catalyst for the civil rights movement.

In addition, Mr. Speaker, we'll take up H.R. 1549, the Helping Sick Americans Now Act. This bill, authored by Representatives Joe Pitts, Michael Burgess, and Ann Wagner, will help Americans with preexisting conditions obtain insurance coverage without delay.

We will also consider H.R. 527, the Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Chairman Hastings. This legislation applies pre-market principles to future sales from the Federal Helium Reserve and will protect thousands of American jobs.

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Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman. I appreciate the spirit with which he recommends that we proceed along the lines asked for by those individuals he spoke about.

I would say to the gentleman, Mr. Speaker, that I'm told that our chairman and the chairman on the other side of the Capitol, Mrs. Murray, they're meeting and looking to see the path forward so that we can effect a meeting of the minds and do what the American people are asking us to do, which is to get the fiscal challenges addressed at the Federal level so they can go on about making their life work and continue to create their dreams and live the life they want and have the life they want for their kids.

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Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for his desire to see a satisfactory resolution of issues surrounding the fiscal challenges.

Obviously, the debt ceiling is another point with which we will be faced on how to deal with the spiraling debt and out-of-control spending in Washington. I know that the gentleman shares with me the desire to see the reduction in the need to borrow, the balancing of our budget and, actually, a return to a real growth in America of jobs and the economy, of economic opportunity for all. It is in that spirit that I know that he approaches this issue, and so do I.

I would say to the gentleman, when the rating agencies look at the creditworthiness of our Nation--and I think some have said as much--it is, yes, to observe a political system that works, but it is also to make sure that there is demonstrable evidence that we are making progress in dealing with the problem, and that is the focus that we must all maintain.

I mean, we know that the disproportionate problem of the debt in this country and the deficits we are running have to do with the unfunded liabilities of the entitlement programs, and we can see the White House and the President call for tax increases every other day--every day for that matter--and those are not going to deal with the spiraling, out-of-control spending that raises the need for more debt.

Again, the differences on this subject, Mr. Speaker, are well known, and I am hopeful that we can work towards setting aside the differences and focusing in on how far we can work towards accomplishing success in dealing with the problem of the mounting unfunded liabilities of the Federal Government.

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