Tags: cantor | obama | stimulus

Cantor: Let's Talk About a Second Stimulus

Monday, 06 Jul 2009 02:01 PM

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., wants a meeting with President Barack Obama to discuss a second major economic stimulus – this time using tax cuts.

The object, he said Monday, would be to cut the waste from the first stimulus.

“I don’t think there’s any question that our priority over the next month should be this economy,” Cantor told reporters on a conference call, according to The Hill. “We stand ready and willing to stand with the president and produce a bill that will generate results.”

The $787 billion bill passed earlier this year steered approximately 60 percent of its funds to government programs and less than 40 percent toward tax cuts -- a major sore point with Republicans. GOP alternatives had included federal “tax holidays” and a reduction in payroll taxes that would have directly put money back into citizens’ pockets, rather than channeling it through the bureaucracy.

Cantor, the No. 2 House Republican, jumped on Vice President Joseph Biden’s remarks Sunday that the administration misread how bad the economy was, The Hill reported. The Obama administration had warned of dire economic figures, he said, when it made the case for a stimulus plan earlier this year.

“They didn’t misread the economy ... What they did is miswrote the stimulus bill and got the prescription wrong. ... The first attempt at a stimulus bill did not stimulate the economy.”

Cantor said that he’d like the meeting to focus on how “to go about redirecting some of the moneys authorized in the first round that haven’t worked” to Republican proposals for tax cuts for small businesses.

“Where do we go from here?” Cantor asked, later adding: “We ought not to be cranking up Washington’s spending machine.”

But Cantor doesn’t want to nix all the spending from February’s stimulus. He is trying to get stimulus money for a high-speed rail line from Washington, D.C., to Richmond, Va., a project he said could generate 185,000 jobs in Virginia, Roll Call reported. Even with his support for the rail line, Cantor said the larger stimulus package was a mistake.

“I don’t see any inconsistency there,” he said.

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