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. Charlie

    The fact that politicians are playing chicken with our country's economy is insane. This was never an issue of economic ideology, but rather the first battle in what's shaping up to be the dirtiest political race yet in 2012. Democrats need to be able to cut entitlements in a recession and Republicans need be able to raise taxes. The Bush tax cuts have done nothing for our country's economy, and yet Republicans cling to them as though they were religious doctrine.

    I've decided I'm not voting in the next presidential election because I'm convinced that the middle class will get screwed regardless of who's in charge. I'm at the point where I just assume everything coming out of a politician's mouth is kabuki nonsense.

    July 26, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  2. Bill from GA

    The short-term plan of Speaker Boehner will do little to end the uncertainty of 'job-creating businesses' in America, and nothing to end the uncertainty of bond-rating entities. Higher interest rates would devastate our feeble recovery. That is fine if your only concern, like Mitch McConnell's, is to make President Obama a one-term president, but if you care for the USA, we need the 'Big Deal'

    July 26, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  3. ShutUP

    Just go away. Cantor just can't stand not being Speaker!

    July 26, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  4. Bob

    Cantor is heavily invested in a fund that shorts U.S. Treasury bills. The only way such a fund will make money is if the U.S. defaults on its debt payments. Cantor should be tried for treason.

    July 26, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  5. Truthwillsetyoufree

    Cantor is incompetent. Too much hate to be a representative of the people. His point is made and he failed and will make the country fail. Everyone has a mind of their own. You don't have to do what he says., USE YOUR OWN BRAINS!

    July 26, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  6. Thomas Mc

    Typical Republican policy: give tax loopholes to billionaires, and tax-breaks to multinational corporations who ship American jobs overseas, then try to pay for it all by taking food and medications away from the elderly poor.

    If that isn't DEMONIC, I don't know what is!

    July 26, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  7. bks

    When you have people who just care for wealthy and not the common man then the as a nation we are down the hill. That is what Republican wants. They represnt few ealthy people's interest and not the one which will help removing the poverty and improving the education. Well Mr Cantor you got money from hedge funds in your district so you have to protect them. Mr NFL player you are lrich so you will follow them . Come on the ground and see around you.

    July 26, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  8. Walmanic

    Any member of congress who signed a pledge not to raise taxes by eliminating loop holes for the rich, is not able to vote for any kind of balanced budget. They want cuts to social programs only, with no pain felt by their rich benefactors. Our government has worked through compromise since its earliest days. This group of hard-liners can be considered radical and almost anti-American in my view.

    July 26, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "It comes down to the people in this room. It comes down to the willingness to stand together.
    And I always thought that it came down to THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, and representing THEIR voices and votes.
    The willingness to stand together is for frat boys NOT for government representatives standing on the WRONG side of an issue.
    Cantor, YOU SUCK.

    July 26, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  10. LauraJT

    In other words, to hell with the country. They're going to force us into default.

    July 26, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Well, it would be nice to "have someone's back" as Runyan states, but it is important to understand when getting the business of the House and Senate done which needs compromise. Charlie Dent said it correctly; it is time to govern which the GOP House leadership doesn't seem to be doing.

    July 26, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  12. Richard

    I hope those same rethuglicans will have his back when the 2011 election is over. We'll see who those independents who could not give President Obama a chance, now they see what they have reaped. Good bye tea party.

    July 26, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  13. patriot

    The founding fathers intentionlly set up our government so that no one group could take control. Hence, by design, compromise is a core element of our democracy. Unfortunately, this group of republican leaders would rather go over a cliff like so many lemmings rather than compromise.

    Adams had it right when he said the death of our democracy would be a two party system. Eric Cantor and his pals care only about republican dogma and care not one whit about anything.

    July 26, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. Chris

    What "sucks," Eric Cantor, is how YOUR party drove up the nation's debt during GW Bush's 2 terms and how much of those expenditures are still on the books (eg Iraq, Afghanistan wars, Medicare Part D, tax cuts to the wealthy).

    July 26, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  15. johnmenacherjr

    .. And after all is done and said The same people who gave us 8 increases and now faced with a black president and democrat have decided it as usual is someone else's fault I say get the little saving you as middle class have and let this crash and burn. Intead of a balance budget ammendement – how about a proposition to BAN all LOBBYISTS from the DISTRICT of Columbia as an ammendment so that the elected people work for we the people again? NO LOBBYIST AMMENDMENT makes sense!

    July 26, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. steve

    call his bluff you intractable nut cases. we will see who wins in 2012. does the term hasta lavista resonate with you clowns.

    July 26, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. BobAD

    The concept of a debt limit is old and needs to be thrown out. The Congress passes spending bills and those need to be passed with limits or caps and not the financing source. The celling has been changed so many times that it has become meaningless except for a political show down.

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

    If they are having this much trouble getting it through the house, how do they expect to make it through the senate?

    July 26, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  19. rhumba

    Yeah, Eric, it does suck when you don't always get your way, doesn't it. Interesting that you even consider defaulting to be an option. Something tells me that Washington won't have Eric Cantor to kick around after the next election because we, citizens of the 7th congressional district in Virginia are going to vote you OUT!!!

    July 26, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  20. Mikey

    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."
    This guy would take the country over a cliff for his own political ends. He should not be in a position of responsibility. I hope his district gets rid of him.

    July 26, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  21. Kenoscope

    Republicans, "Money for the rich. It's our way or we ruin the Country." Democrats, "We won't touch entitlements." Pah, a Pox on both their houses.

    July 26, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  22. GOP Hate America

    the GOP suck all they want is failure of this country

    July 26, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. Proud Liberal

    The Republican Tea Party are a bunch of disgusting traitors to this country. These folks didn't give a hoot about the deficit nor spending when their boy GW Bush was in the White House. They have truly shown us and the entire world their hypocrisy. We never heard a peep out of these folks when Bush got us into two unfunded wars and gave tax breaks to his rich cronies. Cantor wants Boner's job. What a joke! The biggest travesty is that Obama capitulated and gave in to these traitors.

    July 26, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  24. Two and They're Through

    The House reactionaries are playing politics with the American people's future. While they kiss the rears of the Koch brothers and Grover Norquist, they plan to create another recession that will destroy whatever still remains of the middle class in America. Their duplicity is on full display and the American people are responding with a strong NO THANKS.

    July 26, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  25. Denise

    Wow, what a profound phrase Eric. Then again coming from you no one should expect any less or any more for that matter.

    July 26, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
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