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April 8, 2011

Legislative Program

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(Mr. CANTOR asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)

Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform our colleagues that the House will meet at 10 a.m. for morning hour and 12 p.m. for legislative business tomorrow. As the Members know, this is a change from the original calendar.

Due to ongoing negotiations, Mr. Speaker, surrounding continued appropriations for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, I believe it is both appropriate and necessary for this House to be in session tomorrow. I expect legislative business to include, but may not be limited to, H.J. Res. 37, a resolution of disapproval regarding the FCC's recent Internet and broadband industry practices regulation ruling.

Votes are possible at any time after noon tomorrow. At this point, it is too early to tell whether the House will need to be in session this weekend. In the case of lapse in appropriations, however, I fully expect the House to meet.

Mr. Speaker, we will not leave town until we have fulfilled our obligation to cut spending, to begin getting our fiscal house in order, and to keep the government functioning. Therefore, Members should keep their schedules for this weekend as flexible as possible.

Mr. HOYER. Will the majority leader yield?

Mr. CANTOR. I yield to the gentleman from Maryland.

Mr. HOYER. I thank the majority leader for yielding, and I share his view that we ought to keep the government running for not only the sake of our economy, but for the sake of all those that rely on the Federal Government. My friend has made the observation in the past that shutting down the government, and I believe the Speaker has made the same observation, was not a rational policy for us to pursue.

I ask the gentleman, because I believe that the resolution that we will be considering will not either pass the Senate nor be signed by the President, in light of that, and in light of the fact that the majority leader of the Senate and the Speaker have both indicated that negotiations are ongoing, would the gentleman agree to a unanimous consent, as we have done so often in the past when the majority Democrats that were in control of the House and the Senate disagreed with President Bush, that we would have a hold-in-place unanimous consent continuing resolution, not changing the status on either side of the negotiations, for 7 days, which would give the parties the opportunity to come to an agreement.

My understanding from the leader of the Senate is that we have agreed to some $70 billion in cuts, which is a substantial way towards what you wanted and a show that we share the view that we need to have fiscal restraint.

So I ask my friend, if I made a unanimous consent request that we continue the government authority to stay running until next Friday without changing the status quo so that neither party would be disadvantaged and that our government would, in fact, as the gentleman observes is his objective, be able to stay in service to the American people?

Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, first of all, I'd respond to the gentleman to say that there is no indication in a definite

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way that the Senate would not take up and pass the piece of legislation that we would bring up today.

As a response to the second part of his inquiry regarding our going along with unanimous consent, I would say to the gentleman, no. We don't accept the status quo.

Mr. Speaker, America is broke. That is why we are trying to address our fiscal crisis and to get the debt under control.

Mr. HOYER. Will the gentleman yield?

Mr. CANTOR. I yield to the gentleman from Maryland.

Mr. HOYER. I want to inform the gentleman that the White House has just issued an intent to veto the resolution that you are offering. I tell my friend that if, in fact, the gentleman wants to keep the government running while negotiations proceed, we have already agreed to substantial billions of dollars in reductions in spending for 2011. We did so, and we've agreed on that. As a matter of fact, as the gentleman knows, I have voted for both of the previous resolutions. I believed both of those could pass; and, in fact, I was correct. They did pass.

I tell my friend this resolution, in my view, will not pass. However, it is my understanding that both the Speaker and Mr. Reid and the President are continuing to have discussions to try to overcome this impasse. That is the legislative process. We never shut down the government when we had the majority and President Bush was in power. And I tell my friend the reason we did not shut it down is because we agreed with the premise you have stated and the premise the Speaker has stated that shutting down the government was not a process that was useful for our economy, for jobs, for our people or for the services that are expected of us. What is useful is for us to rationally provide a context in which negotiations, which quite obviously have not yet been completed, are completed.

Now, you have heard me talk about the ``perfectionist caucus.'' You can't get it all your way, and we can't get it all our way; but, in fact, the American public overwhelmingly elected President Obama for a 4-year term. He is in office.

[Time: 12:00]

Mr. Gingrich said that we were ignoring the 2010 election results. We observed that the 2008 election results were regularly ignored by your side of the aisle in the last 2 years. What I am saying to my friend, there is a rational way for us to proceed. And, very frankly, when we were in your shoes, we did so, when we couldn't reach agreement with President Bush.

Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time, I would say let us look at why we are where we are to begin with.

Mr. HOYER. I tell my friend, we have little doubt on our side of the aisle why we are where we are today.

Mr. CANTOR. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Speaker, I would say, we are trying to do the business of the American people. We do not want to shut the government down. We don't accept the status quo. We don't want to bankrupt this Nation. We believe there is a fiscal crisis demanding urgent action.

With that, I yield back the balance of my time.

(House of Representatives - April 7, 2011)

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