Cantor Pulls Out of Biden Debt Talks

Thursday, 23 Jun 2011 11:04 PM

By Marti Lotman

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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Thursday he will no longer participate in bipartisan budget talks led by Vice President Joe Biden due to an impasse over taxes that he believes can only be resolved by President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner, reports The Wall Street Journal.

“We’ve reached the point where the dynamic needs to change,” Cantor said. “It is up to the president to come in and talk to the speaker. We’ve reached the end of this phase. Now is the time for these talks to go into abeyance.”

(Read Rep. Cantor’s full statement, sent to Newsmax, at end of this story).

The majority leader remains optimistic about brokering a deal. He cited the fact that the Biden group had already made great strides and potentially identified more than $2 trillion in spending cuts over the course of the next 10 years.

His optimism, however, remains tainted by the fact that Republicans refuse to accept any tax increase while Democrats are adamant about including some tax increases in the deal.

“We have to get over this impasse on taxes,” he said. “The utility of these talks has been building the specifics. The groundwork has been laid, the blue print is there, we have a vision of the agreement.”
Unfortunately, “at each meeting, it has become a little more difficult to ignore that divide,” Cantor said.

Statement of Rep. Cantor:
Since early May, Vice President Biden has led meetings surrounding the debt limit. The Vice President deserves a great deal of credit for his leadership in bringing us this far. We have worked to find areas of commonality to meet the goal of identifying spending cuts commensurate with or exceeding the amount of the Obama Administration's request for a debt limit increase. I believe that we have identified trillions in spending cuts, and to date, we have established a blueprint that could institute the fiscal reforms needed to start getting our fiscal house in order. That said, each side came into these talks with certain orders, and as it stands the Democrats continue to insist that any deal must include tax increases. There is not support in the House for a tax increase, and I don’t believe now is the time to raise taxes in light of our current economic situation. Regardless of the progress that has been made, the tax issue must be resolved before discussions can continue. Given this impasse, I will not be participating in today's meeting and I believe it is time for the President to speak clearly and resolve the tax issue. Once resolved, we have a blueprint to move forward to trillions of spending cuts and binding mechanisms to change the way things are done around here.

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