Washington (CNN) – Under pressure from House conservatives demanding deeper spending cuts than what House GOP leaders proposed, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said he is open to allowing a vote on their proposal.
"We committed prior to the election that we would reduce discretionary spending to '08 levels. If the will of the House is such, if there are 218 votes to deliver on ‘06 levels, then so be it," Cantor said Monday at his weekly session with reporters in the Capitol.
Last week the Republican Study Committee, a group of 175 conservative House Republicans, offered a measure to slash spending back to 2006 levels - $2.5 trillion over 10 years.
Rep. Scott Garrett, R-New Jersey, one of the leaders in that fight, told CNN that going to 2008 spending levels as his leadership proposed "would be a good first step" but said "we can do better than that."
Meanwhile, Garrett and 88 other House Republicans are also publicly pushing their leadership to keep the promise stated in the Pledge to America to cut spending by $100 billion this year.
Earlier this month, top House Republicans backtracked on that figure. They said that their promise to roll back spending to 2008 levels had added up to $100 billion when they calculated it in the fall, but because the government is being funded at last year's lower levels through March, the saving will only add up to $50 or $60 billion .
House conservatives made clear in their letter that won't fly with the voters who expect them to keep their vow.
"Despite the added challenge of being four months into the current fiscal year, we still must keep our $100 billion pledge to the American people. " the letter states. These $100 billion in cuts to non-defense discretionary spending not only ensure that we keep our word to the American people; they represent a credible down payment on the fiscally responsible measures that will be needed to get the nation's finances back on track."