House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA)
October 2, 2013
“Good afternoon. I hear the folks here behind us and I’m as frustrated as they are, and I think my colleagues are as well. We are here today to say, these memorials – the Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial, the Smithsonian Museum – all ought to be open. We’re bringing a bill to the floor today in the House that will reopen these monuments, memorials and museums.
“It is a shame that folks in this country who come to Washington to be able to see these memorials can’t. They should all be able to enjoy these treasures of our country in peace.
“That’s exactly our message to Harry Reid in the Senate, to our Democratic colleagues and to the President.
“We ought to be working as hard as we can to open up the government in all the areas that we agree on. No one disagrees that these memorials should be open. No one disagrees that we shouldn’t be funding the NIH. No one disagrees that we should be helping our veterans and the kinds of services that they need.
“Those are the kinds of bills that we are going to be bringing to the floor of the House, and we hope that our Democratic colleagues will stop with the games and join us in trying to relieve the pain that is being inflicted on federal employees and on the people of this country due to the shutdown.
“And perhaps, maybe, there is a silver lining, that in all of this, when you’re talking about the World War II Memorial and the other kinds of war memorials that we have here, perhaps the American people can look to see the great work that the Honor Flight organization is affording our veterans, so that hopefully we too can join with them in wanting to see our veterans enjoy these memorials in peace.”