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. Dan Dendulk

    Its time for th Republicans to compromise and think of the courntry more than their donors. They are playing fast and loose with prople's lives. I will remember them next election cycle.

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

    House Speaker Boehner is using his charm like a powerful weapon while Obama is wasting his. But where is that Obama charm that helped to get him elected. Neither side is really going to do much but put a band aid on the debt crisis. Still, Obama is getting schooled by the wily Speaker. Doug.

    July 26, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. fiskenmann

    Excuse me, Mr Cantor, it's you and your partner Boehner that sucks!!!!

    July 26, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  4. grayguru

    The Republican leadership has succeeded in scaring the Medicare population which is foolish because we all vote. They have managed to insult us by wanting to lower our SSA COLA when we have not received an increase in two years. They play games with senior's security and peace of mind for the sake of political partisanship. I have a very good memory, and I will remember who had my back when November arrives, gentlemen.

    July 26, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Has it not been made very clear that the president does not control the budget. It very clearly states in the constitution that that is congress' job. I am not sure how Obama could be given a blank check, when congress chooses what to spend it on!

    July 26, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  6. Aaron

    Since Cantor was the main proponent of not compromising at the behest of lobbyist Norquist (who he apparently reports to), Cantor himself mainly sucks.

    July 26, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  7. Apul M'Deek-Aoud

    And so do you and your breathren in Congress.

    But it tain't no where near as sucky as it's going to be.

    July 26, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  8. BuckeyeJim

    It's not "victory for the American people" it's victory for the corporations and the fat cats and their lackeys the GOP.

    Our infrastructure is falling apart, healthcare costs are skyrocketing,and our jobs are being exported for free.
    Soon we'll be living in left over shipping containers, and sending the sick overseas in freighters.
    Except, that is, for the hedge fund managers and the GOP politicos, and Rupert Murdoch.

    July 26, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  9. O.W. Grant

    and if the President isn't bluffing?

    July 26, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  10. Calvin

    if the US has a ineffective President then Congress should take over and lead the country out of the mud.

    July 26, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  11. AmishAirline

    Yes, it does suck, Cantor. It sucks because it's unnecessary political theater staged by your clown-shoes caucus to appease the lunatic fringe of your party. The hostage crisis is not fact-based, it's a sham. People are starting to realize what slime you are, it's just happening too slowly.

    July 26, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  12. f

    First !
    Stop the Obamadness and pass something to avoid default and permanent damage to America. Obama is trying his hardest bankrupt this country, enact martial law, and declare himself president for life like they do in other Third World countries.

    July 26, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  13. NoTags

    The truth is; Boehner has lost control of his lackeys.

    July 26, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  14. Dorik

    In the six months Washington is willing to waste, China's economy (and many others) will grow another 5%. Wake up and get to real work for goodness sake!

    Third party, please!!!

    July 26, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  15. WTF is wrong with the Republicans????

    Boehner who literally cried about a year ago in front of the television are still crying "Give me what I want or else!" Nothing has changed. Republicans were supposed to deliver us the promises of getting Jobs for the Americans. So far they have done nothing just as they have done nothing to compromise on the debt ceiling debate. Obama is willing to meet them all of the way if they will agree with the tax increase and they still say no. Boehner even walked out of the debt ceiling debates with Obama. SUCH GREAT DISRESPECT to the president of the average Americans. WALKING AWAY does nothing but make the problem worse as time goes on. THIS IS A TRAITOROUS act! Boehner needs to stop crying and agree for the greater good of the country, not his party.

    Republicans keeps saying no to everything Obama wants to improve America because they know it will work and will greatly increase Obama's chance to get re-elected so they are willing to do anything to smear the President. They even said it was their goal to make president one term president... even at the risk of destroying America economically. I am tired of their game and lies. Where the hell are the JOBS they promised us in 2010???

    The Republicans are truly the obstructionist party and I will not be voting for them ever again. I wish I didn't in 2010. I was so misinformed and brainwashed by the republican party and now I see Obama is a good president working hard to improve our condition of this country.

    On the other note, I noticed that the Republicans has the upperhand here because if the USA defaults, the republicans can blame OBAMA for being the only president in history to default on their obligations and I guess they think it will increase the chance of getting rid of Obama in 2012 and try to get themselves elected by just blaming Obama for defaulting. Ugh. Im so sick of the republicans childish politic plays.

    July 26, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  16. Cantor bet against America

    Consider Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader and putative TEA Party superstar. Eric, bless his heart, invested $15,000 in a fund called Pro-Shares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury ETF (TBT) he bought in December 2010.

    The "short" in "Ultrashort" says Cantor is betting against the US government

    July 26, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  17. Greg Smith

    What these people want is not what the American people deserve. I don't want to push back my retirement age and have my benefits that I've paid into all my life reduced so that the rich can continue to get richer. Time to call the Republicans bluff and get on with serving the people.

    July 26, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  18. andreNYC

    No Mr. Cantor its not the vote that sucks, it's your entire congress that sucks

    July 26, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  19. Merry

    New Jersey freshman Rep. Jim 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.
    These people are so out of touch they have forgotten ...they need to have the backs of the American people not their political party. They laugh while those of us who work for a living continue to try to make it day to day. These people are disgusting.

    July 26, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. Toni

    Just like all the Hitler youth, they fall into line behind their leaders, and the outcome will still be the same. Disaster for the rest of us.

    July 26, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  21. Rick McDaniel

    Get off your butts, and do something that makes sense. Go to war with Obama over the spending, by defeating him in the next election.

    All of you KNOW that taxes HAVE to increase, as the Bush cuts were ill-timed to begin with, while fighting wars. They made ZERO sense then, and not increasing taxes now, makes no sense either. You simply have to find ways to stop Obama's spending, of those revenues, and apply them to the deficit.

    Bankrupting the country, through default, will simply make the Islamists win.......and destroy this country. (That's probably what Obama is counting on, after all.)

    July 26, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  22. sonny chapman

    "Save America" ? They have only ONE GOAL–Beat Obama in 2012 ! They don't care how much collateral damage they inflict to WIN .

    July 26, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  23. Jim AR

    The oratory skills of the Senator from the great Commonwealth of Virginia are awesome. I can just echoes of Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, and Barry Goldwater shouting: "The debt limit vote sucks." Could we get this kid who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth off the center stage for the Republicans. He is a disgrace.

    July 26, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  24. IndyNC

    "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,"

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The road to financial ruin was paved with republician votes.

    July 26, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  25. Jeetu

    I just read it again. Eric Cantor refers to giving the President "blank check" if Harry Reid's plan is adapted. Where did he or the speaker or other republicans get this? Doesn't congress approve the budget? Also, can the President not increase the debt ceiling without the need of approval from Congress (14th amendment)? So, Mr. Cantor and Mr. Boehner, don't lie to American people or the representatives. They are all smarter than you to believe in your "con."

    July 26, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
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