Spotlight Exclusives

Eric Cantor Details Policy Priorities for America’s Families

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Earlier this week, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) delivered his Making Life Work” remarks at the American Enterprise Institute, saying it was time to shift focus from the current fiscal debates to improving opportunities for working families. According to Cantor, the House majority will pursue a policy agenda “based on a shared vision of creating the conditions for health, happiness and prosperity for more Americans and their families.” When considering a course of action for America, he noted that “government policy should aim to strike a balance between what is needed to advance the next generations, what we can afford, what is federal responsibility and what is necessary to ensure our children are safe, healthy and able to reach their dreams.” After years of division on Capitol Hill, Cantor asserted bipartisanship was needed to create better solutions for families, particularly in the areas of education, jobs, and immigration reform. The months ahead should show how the ideas spelled out in “Making Life Work,” which has received considerable media attention, will translate into specific policy proposals. Out of the Spotlight has provided a sampling of Rep. Cantor۪s speech below addressing issues of poverty and opportunity.


Family Well-Being:


“It has gotten a lot tougher to raise a family here in America. Our goal should be to eliminate this doubt gripping our nation۪s families, and to restore their hope and confidence so that parents can once again see a better tomorrow for their children.”


“How does a family like that save for a rainy day, when it just got tough to even make it through the next month? These families are desperate to wake up in the morning and have the nightmare over. The best way to restore their hope for the future and to heal our country is by making opportunity a reality for them and everyone. ”


“Whether it۪s college or the cost of day care, making life work for more families means reducing the economic insecurity plaguing so many working moms and dads.”


“In 1997, a Republican Congress created the child tax credit specifically to help ease the financial burden of families raising children. In 2001, it was expanded. Such a policy helps to limit the size of government and results in fewer Americans looking to the government for support.”




“One of our priorities this year will be to move heaven and earth to fix our education system for the most vulnerable. And when those children graduate from high school, we must expand their choices and college should be a viable option.”


Work Benefits:


“If you۪re a working parent, you know there۪s hardly ever enough time at home to be with the kids. Too many parents have to weigh whether they can afford to miss work even for half a day to see their child off on the first day of school or attend a parent-teacher conference.”


“Federal laws dating back to the 1930s make it harder for parents who hold hourly jobs to balance the demands of work and home. An hourly employee cannot convert previous overtime into future comp-time or flex-time. In 1985, Congress passed a law that gave state and municipal employees this flexibility, but today still denies that same privilege to the entire private sector. That۪s not right.”


Posted by Tamanna

Here at Out of the Spotlight, we offer a behind-the-scenes look at the latest news and information essential to anyone working to fight poverty. From key political appointees to clashes over policy, we cover the news that doesn’t always make the evening news. Check out Out of the Spotlight for our take on the twists and turns of the latest political developments and their impact on poverty reduction. Topics and ideas are welcome! Just contact or

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