Home National Politics Eric Cantor Must Have Missed Civics Class!

Eric Cantor Must Have Missed Civics Class!


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Here’s a clip from The Last Word yesterday about Eric Cantor’s civics lesson.

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Yesterday, Eric Cantor, Majority Leader in the US House of Representatives, speaking about the Government Shutdown Prevention Act, said this:

What this bill says is it reiterates again the deadline, and that the Senate should act before the deadline, and that’s what the American people are expecting, The bill then says if the Senate does not act, then H.R. 1 [which is the House-passed bill that cuts $61 billion from the budget] will be the law of the land. In addition to that, it says that if all else fails, and the Senate brings about a shutdown, then members should not get their pay.

Obviously, Mr. Cantor did not learn his lessons in school.  My 13-year-old knows that for a bill to become law in Congress it must:

1) Be introduced into either house of Congress.

2) The exact same language must be voted on and passed in both houses.

3) After passage by both Houses, The President of the United States of America must sign it.

4) That’s when it gets to become law.


If the President should choose to veto the bill, it would return to both houses of Congress where they would have to override the veto with a two-thirds majority in both Houses of Congress. The President would then sign the Bill…and it is law.


If similar legislation is introduced into both houses of Congress, or if one House of Congress  were to amend the language of the other, a Conference Committee would convene to work out the differences, both houses of Congress would then have to approve the Conference Committee language and the bill would then be sent to the President for his signature.

But never, ever, have I heard a Congressman state emphatically as the Republican Majority Leader did yesterday that,

“The bill then says if the Senate does not act, then H.R. 1 will be the law of the land.”  

Does Mr. Cantor really think the American people like the stunt he and his Republican friends are trying to pull or that they are gullible enough to believe it to be true?  We all know, of course, it is just another ploy by Eric Cantor and the Teahadists to pressure the Democratically controlled Senate to bend to the will of the Republicans.

I completely agree that we must do something about our deficits, but even the Preisident’s Commission of Fiscal Responsibility said we should wait until 2012 to cut spending,

“Under the Commission proposal, discretionary spending would be frozen at 2011 levels in 2012, and brought down to inflation-adjusted pre-crisis levels in 2013. This path would require serious belt-tightening to begin in 2012, followed by substantial nominal cuts in 2013.”

Further, many economists including Mark Zandi (McCain advisor) have said that cutting spending now will lead to massive job losses, and could stop our current recovery and force us into a double-dip recession.

“Significant government spending restraint is vital, but given the still halting economic recovery, it would be counterproductive for that restraint to begin until the economy is creating enough jobs to bring down the still very high unemployment rate,” Zandi stated in his report.

How can we trust Mr. Cantor’s judgment on any subject when he obviously needs to learn how laws are created.  I know my child’s civics teacher would be happy to teach him the lesson.  Maybe then he could quit embarrassing himself and all of Virginia!


  • The Richmonder

    Who could possibly forget this?


  • aznew

    Eric Cantor has done more than any other person in history to prove wrong the stereotype that Jews are smart.

  • Marianna76

    from the Commonwealth?

    Jefferson, Washington and, most of all, Madison must be puking in their graves.

  • Jim B

    I haven’t looked too hard to find media comments on his stupidity, but Wash Post and NYT didn’t have any comments the last time I looked. MSNBC a while ago just had a running message at the bottom of the screen that had a question: Something like which representative needs a civic lesson. No mention of Cantor.

    I guess if you have a media of idiots, people like Cantor can say anything.

    Apparently Lawrence O’ Donnell of MSNBC is the only one that called him on his comment.

  • Teddy Goodson

    I have some vague memory that, during the Bush interregnum, on more than one occasion, there were legislative items (perhaps not actual “bills”) which passed one house but not both, and were signed into law by Dubya. Does anyone else recall this? It was bizarre, but not supposedly completely impossible.

    In any case, the Republicans have created so much public disgust for Congress because of its complete inability to get anything done (never mind that this failure is due almost entirely to Republican obstructionism) that I suspect Cantor is banking that a disengaged public will be relieved, and see this unicameral approach to legislating a budget as a sensible answer: “Finally, leave it to Republicans to get something done!” Republicans know how to lead! Money bills are supposed to originate in the House (and apparently go to the Senate to die, hence the gridlock).

    Once again, Republicans gave us an early warning about their intentions when, during Pelosi’s reign as Speaker, they complained about her unilateral action, “ramming through” her radical agenda. So, they are doing what they pretended she had done.

    We have here yet another example of what must be a plan to transform America’s form of government into an oligarchy without checks and balances; they have been working at this bit by bit, getting away with a little here, a little there, and, when no one stops them, moving on to slicing another little slice off—- in “the baloney tactic.”

    See how Gov. Walker and the Republican legislature in Wisconsin denied opposition Democrats a vote, manipulated the process, and passed the key bit of the bill they wanted, and, when Democrats went to court and got a restraining order, saw to it that the law was published as if it were final. Another form of baloney tactics.  

  • KathyinBlacksburg

    Cantor is hilarious.  He doesn’t even know he can’t do that!  What an idiot.  This was the best comedy of the day.

    (But at the same time it is pretty pathetic, sad and scary (scary that someone this ignorant has risen to his position).  

    We really do have to fear fro our country.  Raving fools are in charge of the House.  And they think they can declare a legislative coup d’etat

  • Cowboy

    Last Spring, Democrat leaders in the House failed to pass a budget for the upcoming fiscal year for the first time since the passage of the Budget Act of 1974. Instead of approving a federal budget for FY 2011, Democrats “deemed” a $1.121 trillion budget enforcement resolution that was never passed in the House.

    Prince Harry needs that civics class?

  • BrenBlue59

    The funny thing (while at that same time being VERY alarming) is I don’t so much believe that he didn’t know he couldn’t do it as he wanted the public to buy into the nonsense that his party came up with a “strong plan of action” and President Obama and the “evil democrats” kept them from implementing it.

    He was very simply pandering to these tea-party types who hate government so much ( while wanting to be right in the middle of it) that they like to indulge in the fantasy that the Constitution is written on a white-board and they can just erase the parts that don’t fit in with their game plan. Just another chapter in the do anything/say anything atmosphere that we’re existing in right now.