Cantor: Obama’s jobs package ‘dead’

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Barely an hour after President Obama on Monday publicly called on Congress to pass his jobs-stimulus bill, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor vowed it wouldn’t be brought to the House floor as a package.

When asked during a meeting with reporters whether the president’s proposed $447 billion jobs package was dead, the Virginia Republican answered flatly, “yes.”

“The president continues to say ‘Pass my bill in its entirety.’ And as I have said from the outset, the all-or-nothing approach is just unacceptable,” Mr. Cantor said.

Mr. Cantor said that — in lieu taking up the president’s jobs proposal in whole — the House instead will work this month to pass other measures intended to spur job growth, including: making permanent the 3 percent withholding provision for government contractors that is included in the president’s bill; stalled free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama; a GOP measure intended to increase small business owner’s access to capital; and the repeal of “onerous regulations that are bogging down businesses.”

“All of these things the president has spoken about and represent areas of commonality where we can boost economic growth and produce an environment for job creation,” Mr. Cantor said. “It would be a lot more helpful for the president to focus on areas of commonality rather than targeting House Republicans through campaign-style tactics and perhaps he can start compromising with us.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, answers questions Oct. 3, 2011, from reporters about President Obama's jobs bill, the debt reduction supercommittee and the economy on Capitol Hill. (Associated Press)

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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, answers questions Oct. 3, 2011, ... more >

“We’re ready to work together,” he concluded.

Mr. Obama said Monday he will personally call on Senate and House leaders in the next few days to urge them to pass his legislation, which would be paid for primarily with tax increases on families earning more than $250,000 per year.

Mr. Cantor added that Mr. Obama “has some whipping to do” among Capitol Hill Democrats, as many have showed signs they aren’t fully supportive of his his proposal.

For example, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, chose to work this week on a bill to label China a currency manipulator — a move that would led to higher duties on Chinese products — instead of working on the president’s package.

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