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. Gale

    Maybe now the Democrats will understand we more throwing our money away!

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

    If Congress wants to play games with the credit of this country and the credit of those that live here then when the cost of corporate financing goes up and profits down we will know who to blame the new boys on the block the Tea Party.

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

    So their answer in this game of chicken is to put the pedal to the floor and take their hands off the wheel in with a middle finger salute. I don't want to watch and yet I am mesmerized by the impending crash.

    July 26, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  4. Kenneth Levine

    Mr. Cantor is a hack for the Koch brothers, who are trying to steer the U.S. downhill to get the Democrats out of office. I think it will backfire. Cantor's economic policies violate every economic law and premise on this planet, and his insistence on the debt limit bill and balanced budget are only his latest choices of ill repute. All these ideas have been proven many times over to be self destructive and should be laughed at. Only our uninformed and uneducated populace serves his will. His backers want to control our bedrooms[they'll create constitutional amendments to satisfy their bigotry,but worship the constitution as something unchangeable to be worshipped in all other circumstances] and living styles and distrust change. Cantor's ideas are not progressive, they will drown us if allowed through the system. We should be saving this country. Only a strong economy will be able to pay off debt, so super investment in the economy to strengthen it's components should be done. States can't do it, they are too riven with discord. A full-size investment in this country, a huge stimulus that actually does something plus a public works program to get the 50% of the unemployed associated with construction back to work building our infrastructure might do the trick to jump start the economy so it can pay back the deficit resulting from the effort. This, other than a world war, is the only proven method of jump starting an economy. Eric Cantor has prevented this from happening; his methods are being followed no and causing England's economy to fall apart at this moment.
    I feel entitlements need to be adjusted to minimize fraud, and the wealthy should contribute to their own programs more, but social security is fine as is if Cantor and other politicians won't take money from the SS Fund. The people need these programs to, in many cases, survive. Only a misdirected soul steals an economy for the wealthiest and cancels the rest of the populace from his mind. This problem Boehner and Cantor and their cronies have created for their own political purposes will pass, as will most supporters of their hypocricies, as the population dies off and new immigrants and better educated people take their place.

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

    Eric Cantor is a joke. He is in the pocket of big business. Heres and idea I have not heard yet. How about we cut Congresses entitlemnents?!?!?! I wonder what we pay for each individual house member and Senator in terms of pension and healthcare???

    DISGRACEFUL!! For shame Mr Boehner and Mr Cantor you and the GOP are a threat to our national security!!!!!

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

    Oh yes, the Republicans are standing behind the American people. That is the best place to stand when you are pushing someone off a cliff.

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

    Cantor: you are like a small spoiled child. How did you ever get elected and further get promoted by your party to Majority Leader? I have not seen any behavior from you which demonstrates you have the maturity and ability to lead. I have only seen behavior that represents narrow mindedness, tantrums, and the maturity of a toddler.

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

    The Republican control of the House will be short lived.....they will be voted out.....we want men and women that will stand up for all Americans not just the Tea Party.....they will not be able to get another one they support elected......Republicans aren't worried or concerned about America, the people, our economy, jobs or anything else.....their agenda is to make Obama a one term President and it isn't going to work....the more they put the blame on this President and democrats the deeper they are digging their HOLE......they've already dug a hole they think they can't get out of by signing these stupid pledges......Goodbye GOP and TEA PARTY

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

    How about instead of rallying behind your party lines you actually try and work with Dems. They are willing to negotiate, but you guys are wasting time with frivolous nonsense that merely benefits yourselves, the rich and corporations. To say "I'll never raise taxes" is idiotic. The debt is there. It has to be paid now. There is no way to cut enough spending to pay it down. Taxes will have to be raised, end of story.

    July 26, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. 619_Fed UP

    Well, the GOP aren't going to be elected any time soon. Kiss their sorry butts goodbye, because toying with America's credit rating is probably the biggest threat to national security since al Qaeda. Nice try Tea Party, but apparently you need more economic lessons, and a good PUBLIC education.

    July 26, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  11. James Martin

    ............and all this pettiness makes the USA look like a failure.

    July 26, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  12. al in memphis

    Interesting that none of the options included "Figuring out a long term solutions" like your being paid to do. It's not rock science to figure out how everybody can contribute, the problem is they don't have the guts to face the rich and extremist and tell them they got to share the burden too.

    Slowing turning America into the not-so-great and not-so-intelligent land of the free and spindless.

    July 26, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "to stop grumbling and whining and to come together as conservatives and rally behind the speaker and call the president's bluff."

    You were warned, Cantor. You were warned. Play that game and take the blame.

    July 26, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  14. BobAD

    By the way if the old school Republicans let themselves be blackmailed by these extremists they need to be voted out in the House and Senate.

    July 26, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. DAW, NC

    Let's not compromise nor negotiate, we are righteos!!!! Lets call the presidents bluff. such tough talk from individuals who represent corporations and the rich, I guess that they know who butters their bread. can't wait for the next election. I guess we will see if this is what americans really wanted when they elected them?

    July 26, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  16. Keith in SoJax

    $3 trillion isn't enough boys. You need 4 and you know the American People (could Boehner complete a sentence without using the phrase) are not behind a plan that simply cuts from the bottom 98% of the American People. Your rich buddies are going to have to step to the plate too. If you don't make them, your lust for power will be much harder to satiate.

    July 26, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  17. Vincent

    Mr Boehner has no intention of coming up with a plan to pay off the debts that as a Congress they agreed up on. The Republicans feel entitlement when it comes to spending but not in to raising money for anyone but there own gree.

    July 26, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. _e

    The ex-football playing congressman mentioned in the final sentence is Jon Runyan, not jim.

    July 26, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. chris duff

    nice they have each others back. Who has the back of the American taxpayer? And thats nothing to laugh at. COMPROMISE.

    July 26, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  20. RepublicansAreCriminals

    "This is the path to victory for the American people"...

    This is proof that republicains are all traitors to their mandate to serve the USA, and not their croonies, corrupt financial backers...

    They all deserve to be kicked out of congress the next elections...

    July 26, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. saddened by lack of respect

    Just where is the respect for each other that we try to teach our children? My daughter watched the the news report last night and all she had to say was who does this Boehner person think he is. I have never witnessed such arrogance from someone. At least our president has the dignity to address the american people the right way.

    July 26, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. netherscourge

    EDIT – make that Jon Runyan.

    July 26, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  23. Eric in RTP

    The fact that Mr Cantor suggests that default is even an option says everything.

    July 26, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  24. Dan, TX

    Once the top 1% control 80% of the wealth of the country, and the middle class is gone, and the remaining 20% of the wealth is spread more-or-less evenly among the masses so that there is 1% super rich and 99% in poverty there will be a revolution? That is clear, right? Is this not the direction of the trend lines? Am I wrong about the trend lines?

    July 26, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  25. C. Howe Yulikit

    Cantor sucks.

    July 26, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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