- The Washington Times - Monday, January 5, 2015

Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says the new GOP-led Congress and President Obama need to set aside their differences over the next two years to focus on measures that will grow the economy, such as new trade pacts.

Mr. Cantor, who lost in a GOP primary in June and is now vice chairman and managing director at the investment firm Moelis and Co., says lawmakers would be wise to focus on the number 8,053,000, which is an estimate of the number of new Americans expected to be born between now and the end of the next Congress and Mr. Obama’s time in the White House.

He writes in a piece for CNBC.com that after six years, the differences between Mr. Obama and congressional Republicans are “well known.”

“Republicans want to repeal the president’s health-care law and oppose his efforts to regulate climate change and his unilateral moves on immigration,” he wrote. “The president opposes the Republican plans for entitlement reform and tax reform. It would be a disservice to the American people if the next two years are spent simply re-litigating these differences.”

He goes on to write in the piece that the president and Congress can move on helping finalize the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposal being negotiated between the United States and about a dozen other countries including Japan, Peru and Chile, but has received pushback from some of Mr. Obama’s fellow Democrats in Congress.

Mr. Cantor also listed a new trade agreement with Europe, updating patent laws, and passing a permanent extension of a research and development tax credit.

“Accelerating [natural gas] exports, permitting crude oil exports, and streamlining the approval process for new domestic pipelines are all critical steps in sustaining America’s recent energy renaissance and keeping prices moving lower for American consumers,” Mr. Cantor wrote in the piece, not explicitly mentioning the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline that congressional Republicans have vowed to act on soon after the next Congress gavels in.

He also called on Congress to act on House-passed legislation to expand charter schools.

He wrote that American politics, like corporate America, is increasingly becoming consumed by “short-termism.”

“Rather than accepting the reality of divided government and focusing on what can be accomplished today to create more long-term growth and opportunity, both sides focus on short-term tactics designed to exacerbate differences in hopes of gaining advantage for the next election — which is always less than two years away,” he wrote.

“The future of those 8,053,000 little boys and girls deserve to have the two years of this Congress focused on them and not the next election,” he concluded.

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