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Sunday Study Guide: Cantor, Durbin, Roundtable

Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA)

  • Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is the second-highest ranking Republican of the U.S. House. He has held that leadership position since 2011 and prior to that was minority whip. He co-authored “Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders” with fellow House members Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).
  • Rep. Cantor recently said, “Our party has always stood for the conservative philosophy of self-reliance, of faith in the individual, accountability in government, but what we’re trying to do is to explain that these proposals of ours actually can help people. And we love to see the Democrats join us in trying to set aside differences and seeing if we can come together to actually give some relief to the millions of Americans, frankly, who just want their life to work again.”
  • Rep. Cantor spoke on “Making Life Work” at the American Enterprise Institute this week. He focused “on what lies beyond the fiscal debate,” issues such as education, immigration and health care.
  • Watch his latest Meet the Press appearance.

Senate Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL)

  • Senate Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) is the second-highest ranking Democrat in the U.S. Senate. Sen. Durbin has held his Senate seat since first being elected in 1996 and has served as the assistant Democratic leader and whip since 2006. He serves on the Senate Judiciary, Appropriations, Foreign Relations and Rules Committees.
  • Sen. Durbin is part of the bipartisan group of Senators who are working on a plan for comprehensive immigration reform. Announcing their proposals, Sen. Durbin said, “We've been down this road before, but I feel very good about our chances this time.”
  • Following the school shooting in Newtown, Sen. Durbin wrote an op/ed calling for gun control measures, including bans on high capacity magazines and assault weapons, limits on the number of gun that could be purchased by an individual in a month, and tougher penalties on straw purchasers. He wrote, until there is a call from gun owners and non-gun owners for reasonable gun laws, “the number of victims of gun tragedies will continue to grow and the silence of their funerals will be matched by the silence of those who have the power to change it.”
  • Watch his most recent MTP appearance here.


Roundtable: Gerson, Kay, Reed, Murphy, Newsom, Isikoff

  • Michael Gerson is an op-ed columnist for the Washington Post and former speechwriter for President George W Bush. He wrote this week, “Labeling Obama as ‘judge, jury and executioner’ is his critics’ prerogative. But defending the country is not their responsibility. It is easy for those without executive authority to dismiss risks that are prospective. After a terrorist attack on America, the critics would likely be silent, hoping that no one recalled their complacency.”
  • Katty Kay, Washington Correspondent and Anchor for BBC World News America, recently interviewed Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey about gun violence and the debate over gun control legislation.  Watch her latest Meet the Press appearance here.
  • Democratic Mayor of Atlanta Kasim Reed, a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, recently talked about the group’s TV ad. He said, “We’re sending a clear signal that we understand that we are in the hard part of this debate and we’re now trying to get a bill, and what we’re seeing from the other side is they’re not going to give an inch on any issue.” Watch his latest appearance on the show.
  • GOP strategist Mike Murphywrote after Republican lost the election in November, “Identifying the problem is easy. The Republican challenge is not about better voter-turnout software; it is about policy.” Here is his most recent appearance.
  • NBC National Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoffbroke the story about the Justice Department memo outlining when the administration can use drones on American citizens.  

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