October 4th, 2011
01:03 PM ET
7 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. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    From the sounds of the Republicans in the House, a large number of people may soon be employed hammering nails into the coffins of their careers. Every delayed vote and every obstructionist vote is keeping jobs from being developed. Now the Republicans not only want to eliminate a tax charged against government contractors (to make sure they finish the job) that is rebated when the job is complete, they want to roll back safety and environmental protections under the assumption that these are preventing jobs from being created.
    I applaud the President for throwing the BS flag down on this one. Especially in a speech being made in such a Red State with such high unemployment (even though their governor has claimed to be the greatest job creator since Pharaoh – oh, those were slaves, not workers).

    October 4, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Aaron wrote:
    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.
    I hate to break the bad news to you, but we already are paying for their taxes. During Bush's first term Republicans owned Congress and the White House. They passed a loophole that encourages the export of US manufacturing jobs. A US manufacturing plant must pay some sort of taxes because it is on US soil. If that plant were moved overseas, then some sort of taxes would be assessed on that foreign soil.

    Did you know that US corporations can deduct those foreign taxes *in full* from their US obligations? That means that we, the taxpayers, pay the foreign taxes that some corporations pay. Or should I say owe, because they don't pay a dime. We pay it for them. That is who and what the Grand Old Tea Party is all about, America.

    October 4, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. CaliforniaBC

    "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,"

    OMG!! THE republicans are the ones who have been practicing THAT mentality for more than 2 1/2 years even though they lost handly in 2008. NOW they are accusing Obama of it??? We gee...perhaps it's time for the Obstructist Party to get a taste of their own medicine. Besides the "job creator" bill Cantor is talking about is full of the very same policies that got us INTO the recession to begin with. NO WAY should Obama even consider signing it.

    Those policies DO NOT WORK!! When will the GOP/TP start realizing that ezpecially after the numerous times those same policies have failed them AND the country?

    October 4, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    TEA PARTY Mike asked:
    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.
    Flashback to December 2010: Rep. John Boehner, incoming Speaker of the House, announces during and ABC News interview that compromise is not in his vocabulary. Not surprisingly, Rep. Eric Cantor, Sen. Mitch McConnell and Sen. Jon Kyl echo the remarks. "No Compromise."

    October 4, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |

    ok,.. it's time for people in this country to stop complaining, get off your butts, and give this Cantor fellow an earful. Enough of the obstructionism,.. Cantor and the Tea Party are acting like traitors to the country, and to their pledge to work for the people. God forbid something positive should happen,.. and Obama get credit for it, and increase his chances of being re-elected. The Republicans are paralyzed with fear, that if Obama succeeds,.. he will be re-elected,.. well too effen bad,.. bring out some intelligent ideas of your own,.. run some intelligent candidates. Why make the American people suffer for your incompetence, and selfish agenda.

    October 4, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. Lisa P

    ss26mar October 4, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm

    Doublespeak – obama is a master of it
    1/20/13 can not get here soon enough


    You know nothing of doublespeak until you've studied the tactics of Karl Rove. Dayspring's and Cantor's remarks are perfect examples - project your weaknesses on to your opponent and try to portray your opponent's strengths as weaknesses. Obama doesn't go in for those sorts of games.

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

    Breaking News: Inrealityhere Discloses Tea Party Jobs Plan.

    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.

    Commentary: The trickle hasn't started coming down yet. It's been 30 years, and counting, and there is no relief in sight to this drought.

    October 4, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    God forbid something positive should happen,.. and Obama get credit for it, and increase his chances of being re-elected.
    When good things do happen one of two things happen. Republicans credit themselves or they credit President George W. Bush. They took credit for the 200,000+ jobs per month we saw during the first three months of this year and the last three months of last year. The Tea Party comes to Congress, they enact cuts, jobs evaporate, and they blame the poor results on the President when it is they who control the purse strings.

    October 4, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "the rabble "

    Thank you for providing an extremely concise version of "All You Needed to Know about How the GOP/Teatrolls View
    the Majority of the Country." For once, I have to admit that I couldn't have said it better or more concisely myself if someone asked me to explain why the GOP/Teatrolls seem to pretty much espouse every single policy position that diverts all the country's wealth,income and assets upwards towards those who already have almost all of it in the first place.

    October 4, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  10. Bill NY

    Cantor can't or won't. Its not free trade if it costs me my job.

    October 4, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  11. Independent Voters

    Cantor pack your bag you would not be elected again

    October 4, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  12. rob

    To Rudy NYC,

    To follow your logic- Jan 2007 the democrats took controll of the House and Senate with unemployment abot 5%, deficits about 200 billion, and record tax revenue flowing in to the Govt. It all went down hill from there leading to the financial meltdown in the summer and fall of 2008.

    But that was all Bush's fault...Right.

    October 4, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "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."

    Translation: "The proposal contains stuff we like and stuff we don't like. We only want to pass stuff that we like, so Obama should just do only things that we like, nothing that he likes, and nothing that we don't like, and then we'll all call it compromise even though it doesn't even remotely fit the definition."

    October 4, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  14. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Is there a democratic candidate running against Cantor?

    October 4, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "Cantor can't or won't. Its not free trade if it costs me my job."


    October 4, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
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