When House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) arrived at the White House on Wednesday morning, he planned to present President Barack Obama with his “no cost jobs plan.— But to Cantor’s surprise, the president didn’t need a copy.
“He already had it,— Cantor told Roll Call in an interview after the meeting. “He opened it up and held it up.—
Cantor said Obama told Republicans that he would take a look at the ideas in the GOP proposal, and he said the president expressed particular interest in the Republican plan for the looming collapse of the commercial real estate industry.
Obama also told Republicans that there were several parts of the plan with which he fundamentally disagreed, including the need for the federal government to spend money to create jobs.
“I think there are just really two contrasting visions— on how to stimulate job creation, Cantor said.
The GOP jobs proposal also calls for a moratorium on “federal tax increases and suspending the unemployment tax,— a freezing of domestic discretionary spending at last year’s level without raising taxes, approval of stalled free-trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea and Panama, and an overhaul of the unemployment insurance system.
Cantor said when Republicans expressed their concern about overregulation in the administration’s economic agenda, Obama challenged GOP lawmakers to bring him a list of specific rules and regulations that they believed would kill jobs.
“I think we’ll take him up on that,— Cantor said.
Cantor has been one of the president’s most vocal critics over the past year and repeatedly called Obama’s economic stimulus plan a failure.
Obama met with the bipartisan, bicameral group of Congressional leaders Wednesday morning to discuss new job creation measures outlined in a Tuesday speech to the Brookings Institution.