House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) on Sunday insisted that the Republicans had not wasted time by repeatedly attempting to repeal Obamacare instead of passing jobs bills because "the government doesn't create jobs."
During a Sunday morning interview, Fox News host Chris Wallace told Cantor that Republican leadership had talked about creating jobs and growing the economy, but the House had spent the final days before a five-week recess trying to repeal President Barack Obama's health care reform law and limiting government regulations.
"First of all, Chris, government doesn't create jobs, the private sector does," Cantor said. "And what we have going on today is a real erosion of the confidence on behalf of the American public in terms of their trust in government and, frankly, the faith in their economy."
Wallace, however, pointed out that none of the bills that were passed by the House had any hope of becoming law because they would not be taken up by the Senate or be signed by the president.
"You could tend to your own knitting, you could pass a farm bill -- you have the power of the purse," Wallace explained. "Only four of the appropriations bills have you even passed. Why not do what the House is supposed to do?"
"We have passed a farm bill!" Cantor shot back. "Okay? What we did, we in the House, we said, we're going to bust up the almost 50 years custom marry up two different issues and force people to vote on those. We passed a farm bill."
"But you took out all of the food stamps, which is the only way for 40 years that you've been able to get a deal," Wallace observed.
"No, that is not true, not on a Republican majority," Cantor replied. "And so a Republican majority for the first time says we don't like the way things have always been done in Washington, that's exactly what we're trying to change."
"We want the people that need those food stamp benefits to get them, but it's an issue of fairness. If there are able bodied people who can work, they ought to do that in order to receive a government benefit, that's the proposal we're bringing forward."