Eric Ivan Cantor is the U.S. Representative for Virginia's 7th congressional district, serving since 2001. A member of the Republican Party, he became House Majority Leader when the 112th Congress convened on January 3, 2011. This program was recorded in collaboration with the Christian Science Monitor, on September 8, 2011.
Representing Virginia's 7th District, Eric Cantor has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2001. Eric was elected by his colleagues in the House to serve as the Majority Leader for the 112th and 113th Congresses.
A former small businessman, Representative Cantor has emerged as a leading voice on the economy and job creation. His commentary is often featured in publications focusing on a wide range of issues including economic matters, health care and foreign policy. A proponent of a strong national defense, Representative Cantor formerly chaired the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare and remains committed to providing our nation's military and intelligence communities with the resources they need to keep the homeland safe.
In Congress, Representative Cantor has worked to lower taxes, eliminate excessive regulation, strengthen small businesses, and encourage entrepreneurship. He was the chief sponsor of a 2006 bill to make permanent the slashed individual income tax rates for capital gains and dividends, rewarding entrepreneurs, retirees and investors with the ability to create more opportunity for their families and jobs for our communities. He has long been a key player in health care, fighting for greater choice for families. He authored the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006, which made it easier for families to save for their health care needs through Health Savings Accounts. The legislation became law in late 2006.
As Minority Whip, Representative Cantor assembled a highly effective and energetic Republican whip team that served as the nerve center of the Republican Conference. In early 2009, the whip team coordinated the effort in which no Republicans voted for the nearly $1 trillion stimulus bill.
During the lead-up to the stimulus vote, then-Minority Leader John Boehner tapped Representative Cantor to head up the Republican Economic Solutions Group that produced the Republican alternative economic plan which would have created twice the jobs at half the cost of the stimulus bill signed into law. The group continued to develop and produce responsible solutions to a broad range of challenges, offering a window into GOP leadership in the 112th Congress. In December 2009, the group offered President Obama a no-cost jobs plan.
Representative Cantor also co-authored the New York Times best-selling book, Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders, with Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Paul Ryan.
Representative Cantor is a lifelong resident of the Richmond area, where he got his start in politics as a driver for his predecessor Congressman Tom Bliley. Representative Cantor received his undergraduate degree from The George Washington University, his law degree from The College of William and Mary, and his master's degree from Columbia University in New York.
Representative Cantor and his wife, Diana, reside in Richmond, Virginia. They have three children: Evan, a recent graduate of The University of Virginia; Jenna, a junior at the University of Michigan; and Michael, in his first year at The University of Virginia.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says the time is now for Democrats and Republicans to transcend political differences in order to repair the economy. "There's been enough rancor, and, you know what, the stakes are high."
Responding to a question about Texas Governor Rick Perry's remarks on Social Security as a "monstrous lie," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor tells reporters at a Monitor Breakfast that the "math" of the Social Security system "doesn't add up."
Legislature of the U.S., separated structurally from the executive and judicial (seejudiciary) branches of government. Established by the Constitution of the United States, it succeeded the unicameral congress created by the Articles of Confederation (1781). It consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Representation in the Senate is fixed at two senators per state. Until passage of the 17th Amendment (1913), senators were appointed by the state legislatures; since then they have been elected directly. In the House, representation is proportional to each state's population; total membership is restricted (since 1912) to 435 members (the total rose temporarily to 437 following the admission of Hawaii and Alaska as states in 1959). Congressional business is processed by committees: bills are debated in committees in both houses, and reconciliation of the two resulting versions takes place in a conference committee. A presidential veto can be overridden by a two-thirds majority in each house. Congress's constitutional powers include the setting and collecting of taxes, borrowing money on credit, regulating commerce, coining money, declaring war, raising and supporting armies, and making all laws necessary for the execution of its powers. All finance-related legislation must originate in the House; powers exclusive to the Senate include approval of presidential nominations, ratification of treaties, and adjudication of impeachments. See alsobicameral system.