Cantor: 'The debt limit vote sucks'
July 26th, 2011
01:07 PM ET
11 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. teddy

    Well, if he's got Boehner's back, shoot from the front. Better, send the tea-baggers to Guatanamo.

    July 26, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. a little sad

    We cannot afford the political Russian Roulette the Repubs want to force on the US economy by only kicking the ball down the road 6 months.

    The markets cannot gain any comfort that they won't try to hold the economy hostage again.

    These teab@ggers are like suicide bombers. They don't even care about surviving as long as they can inflict as much damage to the US as possible.

    I wish there was even one patriot among them.

    July 26, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  3. Maxine

    Cantor sucks tea bags.

    July 26, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  4. Riazzo

    To all that "Hope for a Change"-I know I speak for the Majority of working Americans when I say We want Change.
    We want All Social Programs policed so waist and fraud is cut. We want Section 8 housing revamped-80% of applicants lie about thier situations to get free or assisted government housing-and the same goes for the Food Stamp program. There are may out there selling their food stamp cards for cash–to buy what!
    We want free birth control to welfare reciepents and if they do have a baby – the Father and Mother are responsible to pay the bill to fall back on parents. We want anyone on Medicare or Social Security that is not a senior citizen to be policed. they should take random suprise drug screens. If positive cut them off. There are may out there claiming not to be Married/dissabled collecting social security–only divorced to collect a check, but yet still live together. There are many claiming dissability that are in good health – POLICE them. We are tired of watching the "LAZY" eat up our tax dollars while we work to support them. It is their choice to be Lazy! Policing the social programs itself would be a hugh burdon taking off of the Tax Paying Public.

    July 26, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. logic in LA

    Once again, Mr Canter is going to waste time while our credit standing is at risk. If he wants a frivolous vote it should be for the recall of all member of the House for the amount of wasted time they have spent voting on useless bills that will never pass the Senate or get signed by the President.
    Grow up Eric and stop acting like a child. Get serious about this matter.

    July 26, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  6. txtru

    What is unspoken is passing the Boehner plan will not raise the debt limit beacuse it does not have the votes in the Senate or support from the President. Its passing the buck only.

    July 26, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  7. Joan

    It was Cantor's arrogance and interference during the negotiations that wasted a lot of precious time and fueled a lot of distrust and anger. If he had stayed out of it, the President and John Boehner might have reached a compromise. Who leads the Republicans anyway?

    July 26, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  8. John

    Do you Republicans realize what will happen if the Federal Government defaults? All of the stock markets in the world will crash. All of those millions of dollars of yours and your corporate constituents will lose so much money, you won't be affected by Obama's tax plans. Stop the petty squabbling. You are acting like a bunch of children. The rich people you are defending get just as many votes as everyone else, including the veterans whose benefit "entitlements" you are trying to remove.

    July 26, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. Anantoomy

    Grown mean not reaching a compromise sucks! Boner your not speaking for the American people

    July 26, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  10. Jack

    Mr. Cantor, This conservative hopes you cough on your potilical principles. You need to go from rich to distute to rich then you be a better person. Right now you have been acting very childish.

    July 26, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  11. guess12345

    Well Republicans, of course it's sucks...because you know the truth....WE THE PEOPLE PREFER THE BALANCE APPROACH...AND/OR REID PLAN!!!! Amazing isn't it that Republicans said VOTING IN DEMOCRATIC WAY IS SUCK....WOW!!!! (shaking head and sigh)

    July 26, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Congress spends, not the President. How can any plan be a "blank check" for the President?

    July 26, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. Evan

    Instead of compromising just a little bit and letting HUGE tax breaks for oil companies disappear, the speaker and Eric Cantor will let the US debt be downgraded which will push interest rates higher. So ordinary Americans will get screwed again but oil company execs will keep their million dollar bonuses. I used to be a republican but I am currently embarassed by the party. I have switched to democrat.

    July 26, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  14. Geneo

    It is now odvious that Cantor and the GOP do not know how to compromise and just want to play politics. Don't they know that they are playing with a live grenade?

    July 26, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  15. Dave

    If it comes down to the people in the room, and the room is full of Tea Party Republicans, then the answer will always be NO.

    July 26, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  16. Chas in Iowa

    I don't believe anyone is very much in favor of the GOP plan to balance the budget on the backs of thre elderly and the poor.
    I know the GOP despise these groups because they form the group the GOP refers to as "entitlements". Common guys, show some balls and call it like it is. We don't need these new names you like to use to make your position sound rosey. You want to cut social security and medicare. Say it like it is,.....or is that to harsh for you?

    July 26, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  17. Vesstair

    Yes. Call the President's bluff. Please, show that you are completely unwilling to compromise in any way, shape or form. Then, come 2012, we can see the lot of you booted out and replaced with people who AREN'T clumsily and actively trying to sabotage the country for political gain.

    The problem you're going to see is that his bluff isn't that he'll veto your proposal... he will... his bluff is that he won't use the constitutional argument to just tell Geitner "borrow what you need to, keep the country from imploding, I'll take the heat".

    July 26, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  18. G-nO-P

    I wonder how Eric Cantor was able to vote for soooo many CLEAN DEBT increases before .. Oh That's right.. that was before the Tea Party Dressed him up in a Leather Corsett and made him Look like a Fool.. now he must bend to their every will and demand .. unfortunately, there are no more leaders in the GOP .. only followers of a crazy Cult called the tea party

    July 26, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  19. cog in the wheel

    Return to pre-Bush tax rates and cut spending (in phases, if necessary, but do both.) That is the compromise we need.

    July 26, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  20. Roland

    Bull crap. Stop covering up for Borg Mentality.

    July 26, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  21. John

    And this is why you shouldn't elect Republicans to congress. At best, they're incompetent and power-hungry. At worst, they're tea party patriots who don't understand the consequences of default. The problem is that the GOP used to have fiscal conservatives who use bumper sticker slogans to rally the base. Now they elect politicians who barely can read the bumper stickers they print. The party is so dumbed-down they pose a serious risk to the country. If they force a default, I say we try them for treason.

    July 26, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  22. terrance

    Look the truth is republicans are simply racist. Look at numbers of health care wealth distribution education and job opportunities in this country. Republicans are the party of the racist and it is their job in government and politics to make sure white people stay wealthy and healthy and African Americans stay poor and sick. Show all the numbers in all areas going back year to year and we will all see the horrible truth about America keeps Africa in poverty. Show the numbers we all see the truth, show the truth and show who gets the money and better quality of life.

    July 26, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  23. tim

    Thats the problem in Washington; it's not just about "the people in this room". Wake up America, Congress isn't supposed to tell us how to think; it's supposed to be the other way around! Quit jerkin' us around, and get it done!

    July 26, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  24. Marie MD

    FINALLY! The constipated man from glen allen, va gets right but that is just because he also sucks!!!!!stop whining? They probably learned it from you you stupid teabagging moron!mivd to northern VA and see how fast they throw you ut on your skinny little spineless butt!!
    NJ's feshman (aka teabagger) might be imposing but he is now playing with people's lives not entertaining us every Sunday.

    July 26, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  25. vet in texas

    "now that we've found love what are we gonna do.......with it"

    You should just vote for a clean debt limit increase and argue about cuts and taxes later............later would mean during the presidential debates and your current crop of choices are in way over their heads with that discussion except for Paul and Gingrich, both of which won't get the financial backing from the RNC, Newt has proven to play ball when pressed and with a milion in debt ripe for the choice of puppet, Paul is too smart to play ball and too old to care, he's already confirmed he's done after this so it will be hard to push him to tell the lies over and over again.

    The elephant in the room is th pledge signers, they won't be able to get 40% of the vote in the general, so if your a betting person America, look to make 2012 bets on 44, the facts show that he will get elected, look at voting numbers in 2008 vs. 2010 137million to 97million. based on the fact that ALL conservatives went to the polls shows their hand, all democrats didn't. With the GOP guaranteed 40% of the vote and the dems 40%(if and when they show up to vote lol), the 20% in the middle have been paying attention to these budget talks and definitely paying attention to the "walk aways", what's being proposed, and who's pandering. Based on me objectively watching, signs and polls show this is going into Obama's favor amongst the middle 20%. The only way the GOP can save face (after the Reagan, HW, W, and Clinton debt ceiling raises w/o question) is to do a clean raise with no attachments and continue arguing over already reached cuts vs. revenue.

    All seniors will remember is who's cutting what (ex: get your hands off my medicare)

    Facts in the race instead of delusional beliefs only wins in midterms. Smart money is on Barry.

    July 26, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
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