House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Thursday although there are elements of President Barack Obama’s American Jobs Act that Republicans can work with, he is disturbed that the president presented his proposals as an “all-or-nothing” proposition.
“Well, my question in sort of reflecting on the president’s performance tonight is the approach he took — you know, it was presented as an all-or-nothing package — and, you know, the president needs a win here,” Cantor told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “I think the people of the country need a win — you know, they are hurting. So, it is just striking to me that the president would sort of lay down the gauntlet and say: ‘Pass my package, all or nothing.’ Especially after all we’ve been through here.
“Now, as you indicate there was plenty in there and policy-wise, there are some things that sort of resonate with the Republicans — I mean, when you start talking about tax relief for small business owners, that’s something that we’ve been talking about for several years now,” Cantor said. “When you start talking about streamlining bureaucracy, so that you can get more bang for the buck, if you will, in infrastructure spending, fine.”
But Cantor — who along with House Speaker John Boehner has indicated the GOP is willing to work with Obama on reducing unemployment and boosting the moribund economy — reiterated the president’s all-or-nothing approach is not the way to negotiate. “That’s not a serious way to go and accomplish some policy results,” he said.
Cantor also said Obama’s claim that his American Jobs Act was paid for is not accurate.
“How could it be paid for if then he asks Congress to identify cuts and savings? I mean, come on. So, we’re back to sort of the same old, same old, when it comes to the kind of spending,” he said. “And I would tell you — I’ve not seen the details — but some of the spending language that he used sounded a lot like the kind of language we heard in the stimulus pitch, several years ago — and we all know how successful that was.”
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