Cantor: Obama re-election blocks debt ceiling deal
The Washington Times
July 25, 2011
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor puts the blame for the standoff in a debt ceiling resolution on President Obama’s fixation on his re-election. When asked if the framework that the Republicans announced would raise the debt ceiling the full amount of $2.7 trillion that the president requested, the Virginia Republican hinted on Monday that they would not.
“It’s been the president’s insistence that the election is the trigger and is the reason why you need that amount. And we’re trying to say, look, we need to do something that is sustainable, that gets this nation back on track,” he told me as he walked from his Capitol office.
Speaker of the House John A. Boehner gave up on getting Mr. Obama to negotiate fairly last Friday. He said that he would work with congressional Democrats to come up with a deal that the president can choose to sign or not. Over the weekend, the Democrats and Republicans developed a debt ceiling plan that would take two steps to increase so that equal spending cuts could be identified.
Democrat congressional leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi took the deal to the president on Sunday night, and he rejected it. The president wants enough increased borrowing so that he does not have to explain to the American people during his reelection campaign how he has spent so much of their tax dollars.
I also asked Mr. Cantor if the Republican plan had real spending cuts in 2012, the only enforceable year. He said “yes”. He would not say if the cuts were above the $2 billion which were the only cuts identified in earlier talks with Mr. Obama.
Mr. Boehner and Mr. Cantor are presenting their Republican plan to their members on Monday afternoon. Mr. Reid will be rolling out his plan to reporters soon afterwards.