The U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R–Va.) is coming to speak on campus next month, the University announced yesterday.

Cantor will discuss issues facing the new Republican majority in the House and how legislators plan to tackle them during his speech on Feb. 2 sponsored by the Ford School of Public Policy.

Cantor, who has been a member of the House since 2001, was elected House Majority Leader earlier this month after the GOP took control of the lower chamber in last November’s midterm elections.

Laura Lee, director of communications for the Ford School of Public Policy, said that Cantor’s visit will be a great addition to the school’s prominent list of speakers.

“We host quite an active public lecture series here at the Ford School,” Lee said. “We try to make it as robust as possible, invite lots of different people who hold lots of different political positions or policy analysts or researchers.”

Cantor’s speech is part of the School of Public Policy’s mission to present the University community with a dialogue on pertinent policy issues, Lee said. The presentation will also address Congress’s attempt to reduce spending and unnecessary regulations, according to a University press release issued yesterday.

As the second-most powerful member of the House, Cantor is a key player on the national political scene, Lee added.

“We are just happy he accepted our invitation,” she said. “Hearing from somebody who is in the position to really influence federal policy will be a great opportunity for students,” Lee said.

Congressional Quarterly described Cantor as “GOP’s communicator, rainmaker and consensus builder,” the press release stated.

According to a Dec. 20, 2010 New York Times article, Cantor bemoaned President Barack Obama’s health care reform package, the economic stimulus package and other hallmarks of Obama’s first two years in office.

“Washington has grown far too large and has become far too intrusive, reaching into nearly every aspect of our lives,” The New York Times quoted Cantor as saying. “… The repeal amendment would provide a check on the ever-expanding federal government, protect against Congressional overreach and get the government working for the people again, not the other way around.”

Charles Bogren, chair of the University’s chapter of College Republicans, said he and the rest of the organization is very excited to have Cantor on campus, especially after having built a relationship with him during this past football season when the College Republicans hosted him at a tailgate.

“We’re looking forward to having him back,” Bogren said. “He’s the number two person in the House Republican leadership — it’s always impressive especially when they’re coming to our University.”

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