October 4th, 2011
01:03 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama blasts Cantor for denying vote on jobs bill

(CNN) - President Barack Obama is set to blast a top congressional Republican Tuesday for announcing that the GOP-controlled House of Representatives will not bring the administration's $447 billion jobs bill to a vote, calling the decision another setback for an already shaky economy.

Obama strongly criticizes House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, in excerpts of a speech scheduled to be delivered in Texas. The excerpts were released early by the White House.

"I'd like Mr. Cantor to come down here to Dallas and explain what in this jobs bill he doesn't believe in," Obama says in the excerpts. "Does he not believe in rebuilding America's roads and bridges? Does he not believe in tax breaks for small businesses, or efforts to help veterans?"

"Come tell Dallas construction workers why they should be sitting home instead of fixing our bridges and our schools," the president says. "Come tell the small business owners and workers in this community why you'd rather defend tax breaks for millionaires than tax cuts for the middle-class."

"And if you won't do that," he adds, "at least put this jobs bill up for a vote so that the entire country knows exactly where every member of Congress stands."

Obama's blueprint - presented last month to Congress - includes a series of targeted tax cuts, infrastructure spending, and new job training assistance that would be paid for by ending tax loopholes for corporations and some tax cuts for American families earning more than $250,000 a year.

Top Republicans are vehemently opposed to any measure raising taxes, characterizing such ideas as economically counterproductive.

Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring responded to Obama's remarks by releasing a statement asking if "House Republicans sent our plan for America's job creators to the president, would he promise not to veto it in its entirety?"

"House Republicans have different ideas on how to grow the economy and create jobs, but that shouldn't prevent us from trying to find areas of common ground with the president," Dayspring said. "That is precisely why ... Cantor has given his word to the president that the House will pass portions of his jobs bill in the next month."

Obama, Dayspring argued, "needs to understand that his 'my way or the highway' approach simply isn't going to work in the House or the Democratic Senate, especially in light of his abysmal record on jobs. Serious problems deserve serious leadership."

Cantor announced Monday that the House will instead consider several measures this month that House Republicans and the White House can agree on, including pending free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama.

The majority leader also said the House will vote on legislation to permanently repeal a 3% withholding tax on businesses that hold government contracts, and take up bills to roll back regulatory barriers for businesses.

Meeting with reporters on Capitol Hill, Cantor criticized recent appearances by the president in both his congressional district and the home district of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

"I believe it would be a lot more helpful for the president to focus on areas of commonality rather than targeting House Republicans in campaign-style tactics," Cantor said. "Perhaps he can start compromising with us."

The weak economy promises to be the dominant issue of next year's presidential campaign, with an overwhelming majority of Americans consistently calling it their top concern.

"The president said yesterday that people in this country are worse off than they were when he was elected," Cantor told reporters Tuesday. "We feel the same way."

– CNN's Alan Silverleib and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this story.


Filed under: Eric Cantor • Jobs • President Obama
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Cherilynn

    If the Republicans are so sure Obama's plan is bad for the country,why don't they pass it? After all, don't they want to prove that he and his policies are failures? The real reason they obstruct and vote "NO" on every proposal (even if it was a Republican idea in the first place), is that it WOULD help the economy and then where would they be next November?

    October 4, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  2. Rick in OR

    It is simply laughable to hear Cantor and his spokesperson speak of compromising. I have not seen them offer any kind of REAL compromise other than, "We'll approve the things that we wanted to begin with, but not anything new that you wanted." I really don't think that Cantor understands what Compromise means.

    October 4, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. Sasha

    "Obama, Dayspring argued, 'needs to understand that his "my way or the highway" approach simply isn't going to work in the House or the Democratic Senate, especially in light of his abysmal record on jobs. Serious problems deserve serious leadership.'"

    However, the "my way or the highway" approach is perfectly acceptable for the House GOP, or do we not remember the near-default Cantor and his ideological kin lead us into?

    If the GOP can't stand the medicine they've been force-feeding everyone else, they can at least not whine about it.

    October 4, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. Sasha

    We've been following the GOP blueprint for the economy since the GOP took over the House. Are things better, or worse?

    October 4, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. Voice of Reason

    Its about time this President started showing some backbone and putting this GOP obstructionism into the full light of day. Give us more, Mr Obama! Play hardball! We didnt elect a 'compromiser-in-chief', we elected someone who will get the job done, not cow to the petty tyranny of the GOP HR leadership.

    John Boehner is not the president, and was elected by a handful of people in Ohio. President Obama IS the President, and was elected by the American people in their entirety. Now let's hope that the more narrow-minded members of Congress clue into that next time they put the party's good ahead of the people's good...

    October 4, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  6. Chumlee

    "his way or the highway" - sounds like a Republican using Republican talking points.

    Obstructionists – their way or the highway – yes, indeed – the Republicans are a group of idiots!

    October 4, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  7. jay1975

    Is he talking about the same bill that no Dem has agreed to co-sponsor in Congress? The same bill that the Dems are not fighting for and are even hardly talking about? Put the blame on one party while both see what a money wasting turd it is.

    October 4, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  8. Lisa P

    "Serious problems deserve serious leadership."

    Cantor should listen to his own spokesman. Obama has been a hero about tackling this crisis while the Republicans have been playing political games and making the problem worse.

    "Perhaps he can start compromising with us."

    More Rovian projection. It's your turn to start compromising, Eric. Bring President Obama's jobs bill up for a vote as a complete package so we can see who the economic traitors and "jobs, jobs, jobs!" liars in Congress are. You can't nickel and dime this one away - a tax cut for the wealthy here, a program cut for the middle class there. Your rope has run out.

    October 4, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. pymatugning

    I recommend that Mr Cantor accept President Obama's challenge, go to Dallas and explain precisely what is wrong with the President's jobs bill. Because, it isn't serious. I don't necessarily have any love for the republicans, but the democrats and Mr Obama are on the wrong track. The President doesn't know what he's doing, Secretary Chu will likely be gone because of Solyndra, and AG Holder will soon be investigated by a special prosecutor. That is aside from killing an American citizen in a country that is not at war with the US, regardless of how much he deserved it and I otherwise support it.

    October 4, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    from the article:
    Top Republicans are vehemently opposed to any measure raising taxes, characterizing such ideas as economically counterproductive.
    -------------
    But yet, by not voting for the entire bill they would be causing taxes to rise on the middle class with the expiration of the Obama's payroll tax cut. They would be denying *actual small businesses* the opportunity to recieve tax cuts for hiring new employees, and a number of other policies that Republicans have espoused in the past. Because Obama bundled it into a package that includes some liberal policies (like jobs training) they will blame Obama for the payroll tax cut expiring without mentioning that the Bush Tax Cuts did not. So, I will mention it. This is who and what the Grand Old Tea Party is all about America.

    October 4, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. Mitt Who ?

    objecting to a bad idea is not obstructionist.

    October 4, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. keeth in cali

    The GOP wants Obama out a job so badly, they're willing to keep millions of Americans out of work in their hopes to accomplish this.

    October 4, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  13. glm

    Obama is full of himself. If he was serious about jobs then why bailout his wall street pals first, then renew the Bush tax cuts last December. He's an empty suit. Go back to community organizing in Illinois!

    October 4, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. Aaron

    His jobs bill is likely another waste of money, but at least he presented something. The only job stimulus the Repubs present is cutting taxes more on the rich and corporations. Pretty soon, we'll be paying them taxes instead of them paying anything to the government.

    October 4, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. Darron R. Brown, M.D.

    I doubt that Mr. Cantor has any genuine interest in our nation's economy or the well being of most of our citizens. It is admirable that our President has been patient and has attempted to work with the Republicans, but I believe it is too late for that. We need to energize the Democratic base for 2012 so that the House of Representatives does not remain in the hands of the Republicans. The economy will likely start moving at that point.

    October 4, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  16. steven harnack

    Say it again and again and even get more harsh. Accuse them of being cowards, to afraid to to pass all of the measures and let them succeed or fail on their own because they are terrified that the situation might improve before November, 2012.

    October 4, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Russ from Md wrote:
    When will you all learn that if you want to create jobs you have to stabilize the economy not increase dept by $450 billion. A stable economy relaxes the consumer.
    -------------
    The economy was stabilized. It had been in free fall. Remember? We were shedding 700,000 jobs per month, showed 18 straight months of improvement to hit +200,000. Remember? Wall Street had flirted with the 7000 mark and had soared to nearly 13,000. Remember? GDP was minus 5% and had reached +3%. Remember? All of that and more took place *before* the Tea Party came to Comgress.

    The economy is about to go over another cliff. Right? Monthly jobs growth has flattened to zero. Right? The stock market is moving so fast that Einstein wouldn't be able to predict it. Right? GDP has pretty much flatlined. Right? All of that took place *after* the Tea Party came to Congress. Right?

    I would say the solution is pretty obvious.

    October 4, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  18. cindy

    The republican-teapotty 's only agenda is to make President Obama a one term president and they don't care how they do it. If it comes from President Obama they don't want it even if its their own ideas. Let the Bush Tax cuts expire-not a tax increase but what was a temporary "holiday" for the rich.

    October 4, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. David

    Republicans will burn this country to the ground if it will ensure that Obama isn't re-elected.

    October 4, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  20. Inrealityhere

    Obama's plan seems to be divide and conquer, hence the march against wall street. He will be remembered as the president who promoted class warfare. There is nothing wrong with the wealthy distributing more of their wealth, in fact, that is commendable. Problems arise when the government along with the rabble decide they have a right to distribute the wealth that is not theirs to distribute. Obama and his rich liberal friends would do better if they would start distributing their own wealth and lead by example rather than continue basking in sunny vacations and singing praises to unions.

    October 4, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. TEA PARTY Mike

    One thing Republicans are not going to do is borrow more money to bail out states. I am also pretty sure that billions from the first stimulus for infrastructure and green jobs has not been spent yet. Spend all of that first before asking for more. The sooner Obama quits traveling around the country wasting tax payers money demanding Republicans do something they are not going to do, the sooner he can start working with Republicans on a compromise that can be passed.

    October 4, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    glm mispoke:
    Obama is full of himself. If he was serious about jobs then why bailout his wall street pals first, then renew the Bush tax cuts last December.
    -------------
    Obama didn't bail out Wall Street. That would have been George W. Bush. Obama compromised to extend the BTCs two years (Republicans wanted to implement their original plan to make the BTCs permanent,and still do) to give a tax cut to the middle class in the form of a payroll tax cut, which I believe originated with the ARRA, commonly known as the Stimulus.

    Do you realize that you are condemming the very same policies as failures that have been espoused by the Republicans who you appear to favor over President Obama? Obviously, you have mispoken.

    October 4, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. Russ

    Cantor said. "Perhaps he (President) can start compromising with us."

    I can't believe this jug head made that statement. The problem us Dems have with Obama is that all he's done is compromise with Republicans. We may as well get used to it, the Republicans will not lift a finger to help the middle class and poor of this country because a bad economy means that they have a better chance of getting elected. That's because, and I hate to say this, we have a whole lot of stupid Amercians that will vote for them because they say: "Look what Obama did to the economy." The Stupid Americans turn and look at each other and go, "Golllllie, we better vote for them there Republicans because the Democrats can't get nothing done." I rest my case.

    October 4, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  24. Kathy

    'jobs bill'....what a joke. The only job Obama is worried about is his own. He keeps putting us further and further in dept while he tries to convince the very few that still believe in him that he's doing the right thing for our country. Thank goodness this guy will be gone in 2012.

    October 4, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  25. Gloria

    I back my President and decry the obstructionist Repubs. Eric Cantor doesn't seem to care about the middle-class, or the U.S. citizenry at all. He, like many in his party, just want President Obama's admin. to look bad until after the election.

    October 4, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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