Cantor Demands Specifics On White House Entitlement Savings
July 12, 2011
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) pushed back Tuesday against President Obama's calls for a grand bargain on the deficit, pointing out that House Republicans already voted to overhaul Medicare and Medicaid three months ago.
"I think it's time for [the president] to come out and say what he's for and stop sitting here talking about the fact that he's ready to do the big deal," Cantor said at a Chamber of Commerce conference on healthcare costs. "We're the ones putting our budget forward to begin with."
Cantor said that despite the White House's efforts to appear ready to make painful cuts to seniors' benefits, details have been lacking.
The president "says he's willing to … raise the age of eligibility in Medicare [from 65 to 67], he's talked about his desire to increase or adjust the inflator for Social Security, which would reduce benefits in the out years for retirees," Cantor told reporters after his keynote address. "If he's willing to do that, let's see it. Because he keeps talking about it, but it's always a speech; we don't have any indication of where the details are."
Cantor also offered some more details about a list of possible Medicare savings that he presented at the White House on Monday.
"The president asked me to come in and reflect where we thought we were" after last week's round of talks hosted by Vice President Biden, Cantor said. "So these were proposals by the Biden talks, and I presented them as such — that there was agreement on some areas, bipartisan, and other that were uncertain. But at least we had a blueprint identified."