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Cantor ‘Very Concerned’ About Upcoming Housing Bill

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Monday said he was “very concerned” about the direction of President Barack Obama’s $50 billion housing bill.

Although the details of the bill still have to be released, Cantor told CBS that increasing the deficit again so soon after the passage of the nearly $800 billion stimulus package could actually make things worse. No House Republicans voted for the package, and only three GOP lawmakers did so in the Senate.

“We just cannot continue to pay for the kind of things that this administration thinks that we can,” Cantor said. “So I’m very concerned about the direction I see us going.”

Cantor conceded that the $787 billion package did have some things Republicans agreed with, such as infrastructure projects that can begin almost immediately.

But he criticized the fashion in which the final bill was put together last week.

“It was brought to the floor after a couple of hours having just been printed,” Cantor said. “No one — not one member of the Senate, not one member of the House — was able to read the bill. And I believe the public’s got a right to know. So the fashion in which this plan was put together by Speaker Nancy Pelosi [D-Calif.] and Leader Harry Reid [D-Nev.] was just unacceptable.”

Meanwhile, on CNN’s American Morning, former President Bill Clinton rejected Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) characterization of Obama’s first weeks in office as “a bad beginning” and said the GOP was on automatic pilot when it criticized the stimulus package.

“I just disagree with him,” the former president said about McCain’s comment, which he made on CNN on Sunday. “But we have a different economic philosophy. There’s 100 economic studies which show that you get a better return in terms of economic growth on extending unemployment benefits or investing money in energy conservation jobs to improve buildings than you do giving people in my income group a tax cut.

“But it doesn’t stop them. Those guys are on automatic. You punch a button and they give you the answer they give you.”

Clinton also told CNN’s John Roberts that he believed the public would support Obama for at least a year “trying to work these things out.”

“My instinct is it will happen a little quicker than that,” he said about Obama’s two-year timetable to get the country back on economic track.

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