WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) delivered the following remarks at the AEI panel discussion, “Solutions For The Middle Class: The New Conservative Policy Thinking.” Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Mike Lee (R-UT) also participated in the panel, along with Arthur Brooks, President of AEI:
“Policy making is about problem solving. All of us who have had the privilege of being elected to public office should be about trying to address problems that the folks who elected us are facing. And you’ve laid out, very succinctly, the problems that our country is facing.
“Overwhelmingly the indications are that the core of America, the working middle class families, are facing some serious problems. And it’s about their outlook and their faith in the future – and whether they can see a better life for themselves and for their kids. I think as you point out, overwhelmingly, the signs indicate that they don’t have a sense that they will enjoy upward mobility, that they don’t have a sense that somehow they’ll be able to make a better life for their kids. So reform conservatism, to me, is about applying the conservative principles of individual freedom, of personal responsibility, and of making sure we peel back the reach of government to create more space for those working middle class people in America, for the bulk of Americans, to see a better life. And apply those principles to the actual solutions.
“To me it’s very helpful to think about the working family or maybe the single mom, who at the end of a hard day, has put her kids to bed and then has to face how she is going to make ends meet and pay the bills at the end of the month. And it is that scenario that I think the reform conservative movement, the solutions that come out of great thinkers like Senators Mike Lee and Tim Scott, and those scholars here at AEI can be so beneficial.
"In the House, we’ve been about an agenda called An America That Works, and I was here 14 months ago, giving a talk entitled ‘Making Life Work.’ This is about helping people. This is about encouraging them, making it easier for people to pursue the happiness that was the vision of the Founders of our country.
“That agenda in the House is very much focused on building on the kinds of reforms that Tim Scott has been talking about on education and secondary schools; the kinds of reforms that Mike Lee has been talking about in higher education reform. I view my job as Majority Leader to help guide these kinds of ideas through the legislative process. Frankly, that’s why I’m so excited about this new book, Room To Grow, and all of the great ideas that are in there because it does reflect the energy and the robust nature of what this reform conservative movement is about.”
View Photos From The Event Here.