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Exclusive: Cantor Sees Common Ground, If Obama Is "Serious" Exclusive: Cantor Sees Common Ground, If Obama Is "Serious"

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HOUSE LEADERSHIP

Exclusive: Cantor Sees Common Ground, If Obama Is "Serious"

In an interview, the House majority leader waxes hopeful -- sort of.

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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., (right) applauds alongside House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., during President Obama's State of the Union address on Jan. 24, 2012.(EVAN VUCCI/AP)

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says that if President Obama “is serious” about many of the proposals in his State of the Union address, that there will be plenty of common ground between Democrats and Republicans.

Cantor said that the way Obama spoke about energy and education suggested areas of agreement, but he seemed incredulous that the president was “serious” the same way Republicans are.

 

When it comes to energy policy, Cantor noted that the president “talked about the need for the ‘all of the above’ policy.” He added in an interview with National Journal: “We certainly believe that you need a diversified energy future. We are going to be a fossil-fuel economy.… If that’s what he meant, we want to work with him on that. It’s jobs and it’s an economic future that will bear fruit if we become serious about exploring our resources and allowing them to be explored.”

On education and workforce training: “There’s a lot of reform, because there’s a lot of those kinds of training programs. If he’s serious about wanting to be effective, we need to have some consolidation and find out what works.”

On people from other countries who get master’s degrees and Ph.D.s in the United States but cannot immigrate: “We believe that, too.… We passed a bill that adjusts country caps and allows people to come here to study.… [I]f they are going to study here, we don’t want them going home -- we’d rather get them a green card and have them be a productive member of our society.… [I]f he’s serious about it, we want to work with him.”

 

On extension of the payroll-tax holiday: “I’m hopeful, because I think we are at the same argument we were at in December. I think people need certainty, need to know their taxes aren’t going up. The proof’s in the pudding whether there is going to be actual actions behind the words. He can say a lot of nice things, but looking to the past is not very promising. I’m always hopeful [looking] to the future that we can work together.”

 

 

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