RICHMOND, VA – Today, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) participated in a panel discussion with local business leaders at the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park in Richmond. The following excerpts are from Leader Cantor’s remarks about ways Washington can create an environment for economic growth, and encourage innovators and entrepreneurs to take risks, start new ventures and create jobs.
“We all are here to talk about jobs for Virginia. There is no better place to come than the BioTech Park to have that discussion, because here I am surrounded by individuals who believe that this country offers an individual unlimited potential if they're willing to step forward, take a risk and take an idea to the market. That’s exactly what the success has been of companies here, each one of them started with an idea, started with an individual that decided to commit capital, time, resources, hard work and made something of it. You’ll hear their stories, and we need more of that in this country."
“We know that the economy is woefully weak and Virginia may be doing better than most, but still we have way too many people out of work and there is a lack of optimism. I am here today to join in a discussion and to hear from individuals that have actually done it, to see what it is that made their success, and how we can help them become more successful. What are the impediments that they see standing in the way that Washington may be causing? How can we promote good policy that creates more entrepreneurial activity and investment so we can see more jobs created here in the greater Richmond area, as well as the Commonwealth, and the country?”
“First of all, it is just striking to see the success here in these difficult times. This is a story that we want to tell to the people in this area, in the Commonwealth and in the country: America does work, free enterprise does work. If we can make it easier for innovators, such as yourselves, to go about pursuing your ideas, because you have the ability to improve healthcare, to improve safety, to improve lives, to improve efficiency and productivity. At the same time, people realize the benefits of your ideas and your services, and you’re creating a lot of jobs along the way."
“This is what free markets and free enterprise and the capitalist system that we’re about in America is supposed to do. Unfortunately, you’ve listed the NLRB, FDA, EPA, the patent problems, access to capital, research and development uncertainty from a tax standpoint, a corporate tax rate that disadvantages you, free trade impediments - all these things are created by what I believe is an overactive Washington that doesn’t get the true essence of job creation."
“As you hear from these companies, they are growing 5% a week and that’s job growth. We are trying to work to find a job for the people such as that working mom, who is now not working. We realize that times are tough and we care about wanting to help the people who are down on their luck. The best way that we can do that is to make sure there are better job prospects, so that she can wake up tomorrow morning knowing that she does have a job, and that she can take care of her children the way that she wants to and have a better life. I think that would be the message I would want her to take from all this.”
“I think that the message I heard loud and clear is somehow Washington needs to start getting it. To loosely paraphrase the discussion here, there is a mismatch of regulations, policies and incentives that exist today that are counterproductive for people who want to go out and build a business and create jobs for the single mom who is out there struggling without one. That is really the reason why we are here, to find out how we go about fixing this process."
“Every one of the individuals here has committed a lot of time and resources – Tonya says everyone was two weeks away from a job at Walmart if they didn’t succeed, if the job was there. Again, these are people who have taken a risk and counted on this country. The people of Virginia and America need to be able to count on a Washington that does start to get it. We’ve got a lot of work to do. We have a situation with the debt in this country that we are trying to solve. As important, we have a situation with a lack of jobs, a lack of hope and opportunity. What my visit here today has shown me is that the negativity that seems to permeate, that negative sentiment, is not present here at the BioTech Park. This place is about opportunity, this place is about what America should be, and I look forward to taking some of the suggestions back to Washington."
“As you say, all of you could be poster people for the Job Creator’s Agenda that the new Majority in the House has put forward. We’ve talked about regulation reform; we’re trying to accomplish that - FDA, NLRB, EPA, SEC, FTC - the things that are getting in the way, and not making sense. We talked about making sure free trade is something that our exporters can count on so that we can compete. Tax policy has been raised here a couple of times, we have to make the tax code simpler and lower rates for everybody. We are noncompetitive as far as our international competitors are concerned. If we’re serious about making sure America is a place for opportunity, we have to have jobs here and we have to be able to compete. All of these things are in line with what most of us think America is about, and I thank you all for the participation today, it has been very helpful.”