Rep. Cantor: Stimulus Must Focus On Job Creation The House votes Wednesday on the $825 billion economic stimulus plan. Its GOP leaders have urged members to vote against it. House Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia tells Renee Montagne that the package must focus more on tax relief for small businesses, which create 70 percent of the nation's jobs.

Rep. Cantor: Stimulus Must Focus On Job Creation

Rep. Cantor: Stimulus Must Focus On Job Creation

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

As President Obama's $825 billion stimulus plan headed to a vote in the House on Wednesday, Republican leaders urged members of their party to oppose the bill. GOP Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia says the legislation doesn't focus enough on job generation.

"If we're going to deliver on trying to revive this economy, a stimulus bill has got to be focused like a laser on the preservation, protection and creation of jobs," Cantor tells Renee Montagne.

Cantor was among Republican leaders who met with the president on Capitol Hill as Obama tried to win their support.

The stimulus plan could grow to more than $1 trillion, Cantor says, and if it's going to cost that much, "we ought to make sure we're getting it right."

Republicans say the looming deficit is hurting the entrepreneurial environment. "We've got to make sure we're stimulating investors, entrepreneurs and small business people to get back into the game," Cantor says.

He complains that the bill only allocates $41 million for small businesses. He argues that because mom-and-pop businesses create 70 percent of the nation's jobs, more needs to be done to help them.

"There are some terrific tax provisions in the bill," Cantor says. But he's quick to add, "If we're going to be meaningful about what we're going to do taxwise, we have got to be much more focused on the real job generators."