House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Monday that though Republicans would look at President Obama's jobs bill, which is being sent to Congress on Monday, there are parts of the bill they simply will not support.
"Anything akin to the stimulus bill I think is not going to be acceptable to the American people," Cantor said emphatically, while also pointing out areas where his members and Obama can "work on for agreement," like trade legislation and small business tax relief,
The Virginia Republican, a chief congressional adversary to the president, called Obama's goals "laudable...but the fact is, we don't have the money." The leader then went on to blast the president's proposal to create an infrastructure jobs bank, which was proposed in part by two Senate Republicans, "a Fannie and Freddie for roads and bridges."
Cantor accused the president of taking a combative "all or nothing" approach, noting the many times Obama said in his speeches to Congress and in Cantor's own district last week, "pass this bill."
"For the president to sit here and say, `It's pass my bill all or nothing,' that's just not the way things are done anywhere, much less in Washington," the GOP leader chastised, adding, "Let's not allow the things that we disagree on to stand in the way," as he called on the president to work with lawmakers to get a bill.
Cantor also challenged the president to keep the bipartisan focus alive when it comes to considering GOP suggestions, saying, "The president has said several times since Thursday night that everything in his plan...has been supported by Republicans and Democrats. And if this is the test," Cantor said, "I certainly hope the president will join us" in supporting a bill Republicans have authored to repeal 10 regulations in place that they say impedes the economy and job creation.
And though Republicans had vowed to take a more conciliatory, cooperative approach with the president, Cantor's stance, while collegial, also offered a healthy dose of confrontation.
"I sure hope the president is not suggesting that we pay for his proposals with a massive tax increase at the end of 2012 on job creators that we're actually counting on to reduce unemployment," Cantor warned.