By Russell Berman - 01/04/11 07:34 PM EST
The new House Republican majority will use the three weeks before President Obama’s State of the Union address to repeal the healthcare law, cut spending and scrap federal regulations, incoming Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Tuesday.
Cantor said Republicans would be “a cut and grow majority,” deploying a new label to define the GOP’s twin goals of reducing government spending while expanding the economy.
“This is going to be a results-driven Congress,” Cantor, the second-ranking House Republican, said during his first press briefing in his new office suite. Several dozen reporters packed Cantor’s Capitol conference room as he outlined the Republican agenda.
The incoming majority leader said that once House Republicans vote next week to repeal the healthcare overhaul, they will move quickly to fulfill their stated commitment to cutting spending to 2008 levels. In the third part of the majority’s opening act, he said, the GOP will target “job-killing” regulations across the federal government. The goal is to lay down a clear marker before Obama addresses the new Congress in his annual State of the Union speech, which is expected to take place the final week of January.
Cantor said he expected Obama to propose spending cuts that could gain Republican support and to change his tune on government regulation. “I am hopeful this president will re-evaluate his position toward regulations,” he said.
With Democrats controlling the Senate and Obama in the White House, the GOP agenda has little hope of becoming law, at least initially. Acknowledging the political reality, Cantor delivered a warning shot to the upper chamber. “The Senate can serve as a cul-de-sac if that’s what it wants to be. But they’ll have to answer to the American people,” he said.