US's Cantor: GOP Strongly Opposed To Tax Hike In Debt Deal
July 11, 2011
WASHINGTON (MNI) - House Majority Leader Eric Cantor repeated Monday that Republicans remain adamantly opposed to any additional taxes as part of a deficit reduction and debt ceiling agreement.
At a briefing, Cantor said the issue of taxes remains an area of "irreconcilable difference" between Democrats and Republicans.
"Barack Obama wants to raise taxes and Republicans don't," he said.
"Our members did not come here to raise taxes," Cantor said.
He added he "accepts" Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's scenario about the hugely negative consequences of failing to pass the debt ceiling increase by August 2.
Congress will pass a debt ceiling increase by then, he said.
Cantor said the focus of the talks with President Obama should shift to developing a $2.4 trillion spending cut package.
Cantor said he hopes the meeting at the White House Monday afternoon focuses on using the "blueprint" created in the budget talks led by Vice President Biden this spring and summer.
Those talks, he said, identified $300 billion in non-health care entitlement savings, $350 billion in health care-related entitlement savings and at least $1.1 trillion in discretionary savings. He said that framework would also produce about $350 billion in interest savings.
Cantor was a member of the Biden group and brought the talks to a halt when he dropped out of them several weeks ago over the issue of additional revenues.
"We're not going to raise taxes in such a sputtering economy," Cantor said Monday.
Cantor and other congressional will meet with Obama and Biden at the White House at 2 p.m. ET Monday