Cantor: 'The debt limit vote sucks'
July 26th, 2011
01:07 PM ET
3 years ago

Cantor: 'The debt limit vote sucks'

Washington (CNN) - House Majority Leader Eric Cantor had some choice words on the debt ceiling vote for other Republicans during a closed door meeting Tuesday.

"The debt limit vote sucks," the Virginia Republican declared directly to members during the House GOP conference meeting, according to two sources behind the closed doors.

In his remarks, Cantor encouraged members to rally behind the plan proposed by Republican leadership in the House. He was joined by House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-California. The members were told the new House GOP bill will come up to vote Wednesday and that the House will also vote separately on a balanced budget amendment bill later this week, the sources said.

"It comes down to the people in this room. It comes down to the willingness to stand together. This is the path to victory for the American people," Speaker Boehner said, according to the sources.

After the huddle with House GOP rank and file, Boehner admitted to reporters that not everyone in his party is falling into line.

"I do think that we're going to have some work to do to get it passed, but I think we will," he said.

And Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, who heads the group of fiscal conservatives in the House and is opposed to Boehner's proposal, said Tuesday that right now the speaker's proposal can't pass with just Republican votes: "I am confident as of this morning there were not 218 Republicans in support of the plan."

But Cantor praised Boehner in the meeting, the sources said, saying he did an amazing job and that conference is behind him 150 percent.

According to one aide, Cantor outlined three choices for the members. He said they could run over the August 2 deadline, risk default and face the unknown. Or, second, vote through Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's plan giving what they see as a "blank check" to the president. And finally, their preference, pass a plan consistent with what they see as their principles and that forces the president to debate entitlements, taxes and spending in six months.

According to one aide, the message from Cantor to House Republicans critical of the plan was "to stop grumbling and whining and to come together as conservatives and rally behind the speaker and call the president's bluff."

Republican Rep Charlie Dent, who represents a swing district in Pennsylvania, told members it's time to govern and avoid default, the sources said.

Republican Rep. Allen West of Florida also spoke in support of the leaders' plan.

New Jersey freshman Rep. Jon Runyan, an imposing figure as a former NFL football player, told the speaker "I've got your back" and the response from Boehner was "good" – as their GOP colleagues laughed.


Filed under: Congress • Eric Cantor • House • Republicans
soundoff (251 Responses)
  1. Geoffrey Feldman

    And we should believe that Eric Cantor is mature? Remember this is the guy who made wild claims about how much he would cut and then he couldn't get it to add up in a speech on the floor of the house?

    Call your congress persons and tell them enough! You want the Gang of six compromise and the Bush Tax cuts repealed.

    If Eric Cantor feels this way, he is more than welcome to give up his 174,000 a year job (with huge benefits) and go Home.

    July 26, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
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