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. Former Republican

    No Eric, YOU SUCK!

    July 26, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. J Christensen

    Usually I'm behind the Republicans, but right now I'm ashamed of you!

    July 26, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. J. Mike

    This mantra from both sides is ridiculous. Their fancy educations and upbringing gives them no increased insight on how to govern and manage money. Entitlement programs need to be cut, and taxes need to be raised. Does it suck? YES! But this generation has to stand up and say enough is enough. We can not continue down this road. Cut Social Security benefits for people aged 45 and younger to a 3% COLA when we reach 65. Remove the SS tax cap, make everyone pay now and get rid of it once the boomers die off. Close the tax loopholes and hold corporations accountable to the consumers not the investors. It's a checkbook, If I can balance mine, they should be able to balance theirs!

    July 26, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  4. James

    It's not the vote that sucks – it's the republicans.

    July 26, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    You're wrong Cantor, the debt limit vote doesn't suck............YOU DO! You need to 1. be the first to not be paid and 2. Be voted out of office at the next opportunity. You are not serving the country. You are serving your wealthy contributors! I am saddened that our govenment is turning out to be ruled by people like you who don't give a flip about Joe average.

    July 26, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. fiskenmann

    "An entitlement is a guarantee of access to benefits based on established rights or by legislation. A "right" is itself an entitlement associated with a moral or social principle, such that an "entitlement" is a provision made in accordance with legal framework of a society. Typically, entitlements are laws based on concepts of principle ("rights") which are themselves based in concepts of social equality or enfranchisement."

    Tax breaks for the rich should be eliminated as well if social security and medicare is.

    July 26, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  7. ja

    why is congress being paid a salary, most jobs terminate, or withhold pay if you don't do your job, i say we withhold their pay, but most are there for self gratification and are filthy rich with pay

    July 26, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  8. The Other Michael in Houston

    Call the President's bluff??????? That crappy bill will not make it through the Senate. We all know that every one of you Republicans have one goal, bring President Obama down by any means necessary! That has been you whole goal since the election was called by McCain. So don't insult my intelligence with your lies. And for all you idots out there who support this crap that the Republicans are pushing, most of you would benefit from the Presidents plan but you are too stupid......or too racisit to see the benefits. You would think that people like me who will be affected if the tax breaks are gone wouldbe mad but we are not (at least not anyone that I know). We have money to burn. Like the President stated "We didn't ask for ask for a tax break".

    July 26, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  9. DanW

    They will stand together for what? Gridlock? Credit downgrade? Please guys, do something NOW to settle this.

    July 26, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  10. Pedro Rondova

    It's JON Runyan, not Jim, and I liked him better as a football player.

    July 26, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  11. Paul H

    Default = Loss of confidence in our 2 party system = All Republicians and Democrats lose at the next election + major soul searching by all Americans as we double dip into second world status

    July 26, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  12. Paul1st

    Cantor left out the fourth option which is to put the best interests of all Americans first and foremost by agreeing to a deficit reduction plan that is longer term, spreads the sacrifice across a wider demographic, and includes clearly defined steps to continue to increase our fiscal discipline.

    July 26, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  13. Charles Zuckerman

    Two comments:

    Why do they think 6 months from now will be any easier? With the election getting closer, both parties will have less, not more, incentive to negotiate. Do we really want self inflicted economic crisis take 2?

    Also, while I deplore the state of politics and lack of compromise (to some degree by both parties but on this issue the republicans appear more intractible), it reflects every day citizens' lack of ability to make tough choices. For Exhibit 1 see the CNN poll form yesterday (which is simiilar in its finding to most polls). The majority want a speinding reduction heavy (but not exclusively) plan. Most want cuts to the government. When specific programs are mentioned however +70% say don't cut the military, don't cut social security, don't cut medicaid, don't cut medicare. Well those plus our existing debt obligations are +80% of the budget. How can we as citizens simultaniously say cut spending but don't cut any major programs. The math doesn't work. Just like the math of our representatives doesnt' work.

    We get what we ask for and we are asking fo the impossible.

    July 26, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  14. Positive

    Quote: "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. "

    And that, friends, is exactly what is WRONG about the way Republicans think. The American people have stated in poll after poll after poll they want COMPROMISE!!!!

    Vote out all Republicans in 2012!

    July 26, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  15. a in austin

    As cantor makes more $$$ off his hedging with the economy. Still their way or the highway...

    July 26, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  16. Joseph B

    I would prefer that our representatives have the country's back. Increase the debt limit – don't make the US default on its debt. Don't mess it up by political posturing.

    July 26, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  17. lindasteller

    I'm sick of the Republicans trying to balance the budget on the backs of the poor and the middle class. End the stupid tax breaks for the rich. By the way, Medicare and Social Security, are NOT entitlements. We all pay for them in our paychecks. Considering the benefits you members of congress receive, you should be ashamed for asking the working class citizens of this country to foot the bill.

    July 26, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  18. Rob R

    Cantor and the rest of his goons have no chance of getting their silly plan passed. Not after watching the speeches by Obama and Boehner last night.

    Neither the House nor the Senate should expect to get their partisan bills passed through both houses. The only way is through compromise:

    The Dems should give up trying to get new tax revenues despite the necessity for them.
    The Republicans should be willing to hold one vote to carry through the end of 2012.

    How hard is that?

    July 26, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  19. JAB

    Too bad that so many Congressman and Senators signed Grover Norquist's pledge instead of listening to the oath of office that they took. You can't serve two masters and apparently GN outweighs their oath of office. Sad.

    July 26, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  20. James B.

    The GOP is insane to believe their fanaticism will make our nation better or stronger. I am appalled by their protect the rich and screw everyone else attitude. The sensible GOP has been replaced by the crazed and stupid Tea Party. All they have done is prove they are not worthy of my vote. No republican will receive my vote in the upcoming elections.

    July 26, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  21. Independent in Maine

    How can paying our bills (already committed to by the country) be a "blank check"? Raising the debt ceiling does not approve additional spending, but standing up to our promises.

    July 26, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  22. What the hell is wrong with the Republicans????

    Boehner who literally cried about half 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 (not even one proposal for creating jobs bill) just as they have done nothing to compromise on the debt ceiling debate. Obama is willing to meet them all of the way to the middle if they will agree with the tax increase and they still say 'NO'. Boehner even walked out of the debt ceiling debates with Obama. What a such disrespect to the president and the average Americans. WALKING AWAY does nothing but make the problem worse as time goes on. As I see it, 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 President Obama wants to improve America because they know President Obama's plan will work and will greatly increase Obama's chance to get re-elected so they are willing to do anything to smear the President. The Republican party said it was their goal to make Obama one term president... And they are doing that 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 economically, make some progressions and move ahead for the greater good of this country.

    On the other note, I noticed that the Republicans has the upper hand here because if the USA defaults, the Republicans can blame President Obama for being the only president in history to default on their obligations. That could increase the chance of booting President Obama out of the office in 2012 and at the same time, try to get themselves elected. All by blaming President Obama for defaulting. I can see it already in 2012

    July 26, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    James Madison – who helped frame the Constitution and who argued for the original Amendments -wrote the following statement: "Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens, equally the friends of public and private faith, and of public and personal liberty, that our governments are too unstable, that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties, and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority"

    In this case, Mr. Cantor, you have a majority in the House, but the public still sees an unstable government. The bill isn't the only thing that sucks in Washington DC these days.

    By the way, Mr. Cantor and House Speaker, we the people have noted that you didn't have a problem passing the Bill for your own salary yesterday HR 2551. Enjoy the security of knowing that your job is protected by law, for the rest of us...

    July 26, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  24. Brandon

    Eric... Just imagine how we feel about you!

    July 26, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  25. Barbara Brown

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't believe that the Republican ( Tea Party ) had a mandate after the last election. So COMPROMISE on the budget. The working lower and middle class have lost their health care, jobs, homes, savings and the big corporations and wealthy are sitting on their profits...and they are the ones that are nervous about the economy and the dept!!!! I think the Republicans and Tea Party want Obama to fail at all cost regardless of what that will do to our country and people. COMPROMISE.

    July 26, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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