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Cantor Orders Up Tax Cuts, Hold the Jobs

9:44 AM PDT on October 3, 2011

Congressional insiders say that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is refusing to hold an ”all or nothing” vote on President Obama’s jobs bill. Cantor says he’ll bring “elements” of the bill to the floor but not the whole bill.

It’s pretty clear which elements Cantor approves of. He expressed his preferences soon after the president unveiled his $447 billion job-creation proposal, which includes $50 billion for infrastructure investment — something Obama’s been pushing for (though not always pushing very hard) since Labor Day of last year.

“Over half, I think, of the total dollar amount is so-called stimulus spending,” Cantor told reporter Brian Beutler soon after Obama announced his jobs plan. “We’ve been there, done that. The country cannot afford more spending like the stimulus bill.”

The Washington Monthly’s Steve Benen responded:

A little more than half of the American Jobs Act is made up of tax cuts. Cantor, at least today, didn’t reflexively rule out these provisions.

Instead, what Cantor disapproves of are the parts of the proposal most likely to create jobs — infrastructure investments, job training, unemployment aid, and assistance to states to prevent public-sector layoffs. It’s as if the oft-confused Majority Leader looked at the plan, found the measures that would have the great[est] impact to improve the economy, and immediately rejected them.

A Republican version of the jobs bill would almost certainly eliminate the infrastructure bank, which Obama proposed as part of the jobs bill. House Transportation Committee Chair John Mica immediately repudiatedthis idea, saying, “Unfortunately, a National Infrastructure Bank run by Washington bureaucrats requiring Washington approval and Washington red tape is moving in the wrong direction.” He preferred his own planof encouraging states to set up their own banks.

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