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. mm

    gee, pass it for 6 months and then do this all over again so quickly? The markets don't want this. And most of the American people would like to see Congress get back to a jobs discussion! make a balanced budget ammendment bill separately.

    July 26, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. david in seattle

    What happened to the jobs we were promised by the Republicans?

    July 26, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  3. chicka

    Well at least the Republicans have *someone's* back – they sure don't have ours.

    July 26, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  4. Sal Tuzzeo

    You have made a factual error in the reportage of this piece ("Cantor: 'The debt limit vote sucks"). It is NOT Jim Runyan, but rather JON Runyan, who is the NJ freshman representative.

    July 26, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  5. bill

    Cantor is such a weasly little wormwood he makes me want to disinfect my ears when I hear him. He's the embodiment of everything wrong with the GOP.

    July 26, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  6. max

    I'm sure that the republican plan will suck as much as their last one did.

    July 26, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  7. blf83

    Mr.Can'tor won't budge. Compromise is essential o governing. Mr. Can'tor needs to resign for his submitting to the blackmail of the Tea Partiers and G. Norquist.

    July 26, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  8. Claudia

    Let’s be honest and call like it is, a fact which EVERYONE is afraid to mention…The GOP’s primary agenda is to make Obama a one term President and the reason is because he is black. The Republicans have stooped to an all time new low and will stop and nothing to accomplish this goal, even to the point where they are willing to jeopardize the future of America.

    July 26, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  9. connie sz, boulder, CO

    I hope Obama stands strong. If it's default the Republicans want – give them default.

    July 26, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  10. Progressive Jedi

    It only takes a one page bill to raise the debt ceiling. This process could be done and signed by the President in less than half an hour. Make a clean raise of the ceiling, quit holding the US economy hostage. Take the deficit and budget fights out of this and do them where they belong, in seperate bills.

    July 26, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  11. Ed

    Ever since Bob Dole publicly stated that his main goal was to make sure that Bill Clinton failed at whatever he attempted, the Republicans in Washington have made it clear that they are the party of the corporation and could care less about the human citizens of this country (unless they own corporations). They cry foul if their opinion is not considered when they are in the minority, and steadfastly refuse to consider any other opinions when they are in the majority. This current process is such an outright treasonous lie to the American people. Do you think the debt ceiling would be an issue with the Republicans if the president was from their party?

    July 26, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  12. Tom

    Jim Jordan is a traitor. He'd rather play games and let the country default if he doesn't get his way.

    July 26, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  13. Mark L.

    I think it would be more appropriate to state, "The GOP sucks" or maybe "The extreme, delusional right-wing Tea Party sucks" !!!!

    July 26, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  14. PJ

    I love Cantor's vocabulary....that of a trailer trash person. I hope the American people see thru this Hitlerian person who doesn't deserve to be in the GOP.

    July 26, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  15. Roger

    well I for one hope that the republicans come to the table and COMPROMISE!!!!!!!!!!
    This is the American thing to do...

    July 26, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  16. chris

    won't matter either the democratic Senate or our teleprompter in chief will squash the bill. rich democrats don't want to pay more taxes

    July 26, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. scott

    You were told to get spending under control last Nov. Keep the pressure up. And short term does not work because we will have this argument again in a few months. When business spend to much what do they do they cut expenses to become more profitable. Create a simple tax code this will increase some taxes while givening businesses confidence to know what they need to produce to stay in business and make a profit. Also start making 1 year budget cuts not 10 year budget cuts. You do not know what will happen in 10 years.

    July 26, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  18. Jeetu

    This bill does not accomplish anything except the ego of the republicans. Even if it is inacted, US rating will be downgraded as it does not meet those standards. Also, in six months we would be in worse shape than we are today.

    Republican representatives would be wise not to listen to Eric Cantor or John Boehner. These two guys are egotistic maniacs who do not care for America except for themselves

    Balanced budget amendment is a lost cause as it is full of problems and negative consequences. It is also unconstitutional (read the 14th amendment).

    July 26, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  19. Mike

    Theres IS a fourth option- COMPROMISE!!!!!

    July 26, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  20. Louis

    Irrespective of the plan that is voted on, or for that matter, the side you choose, what is most disheartening is not ones belief on what is right for our country; it is most assuredly the manner in which the right has become a truly illiterate body, that has true difficulty expressing its opinion. To quote your opening and Cantor, “The debt limit vote sucks”, is clear evidence of his and his partner’s inability to present anything of substance. I suspect our forefathers are weeping.

    July 26, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  21. John Nemesh

    All I got to say is the Republicans are going to burn in Hell for this, politically...and probably literally! They dont have the American people's interest in mind, they dont negotiate in good faith, they DONT GET IT DONE...and we, the people, are noticing. Hell, even the Brits are calling them "right-wing nutcases"! ENOUGH! Time for these idiots to leave.

    July 26, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  22. Angela

    So do you Mr. Cantor.

    July 26, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  23. banta

    put on your big boy pants and grow up. The debt ceiling was raised 7 times during the Reagan era and 7 times during the W's failed presidency stint and no onw said anything then about how much we were spending. It seems Republicans hold office and spend like drunken sailors and then when someone other than "their own party" is in office, all they can do is whine.........

    July 26, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    If Rep. Cantor walked into my room I would ask him, "How is it that large spending cuts creates jobs?" I know that his reply would be that large deficits hurt the economy. I would argue that creating jobs would cut into the deficit as well as restoring tax rates to levels back to when we had a balanced budget and job growth in the millions per year.

    July 26, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    It's the 1990's all over again, with 500X the stakes.

    July 26, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
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