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. ShinyNewLure

    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 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  2. frank dressler

    Boy what a shame that we have people in congress on both sides that put keeping their job ahead of keeping the country from defaulting.How would like to have these persons in a trench fighting like our men and women do every day.What a " waste of humanity".Vote them out next election...

    July 26, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  3. Jenny Yasi

    Dear Mr. President,
    Please do not allow our country to be held hostage by Mr. Boehner and his cohorts. Do not yield your position. If you allow them to take our country hostage and demand their ransome, then that is the end of our democracy. I know how high the stakes are, and we know that you understand this too. It's not just about our economy any longer. It is about our democratic process.You have given them an inch and they are determined to take a mile, but you can't let that happen.

    July 26, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. Bill

    It looks to me like there will be a lot of new faces in Congress after November.

    July 26, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. Bob

    How about the R's in the house rally around what is right for America and work WITH instead of AGAINST working with moderates and D's. I am so tired of the constant whining and bickering that is coming out of the GOP these days. It is time for these men and women to GROW UP and act like adults. They look and sound like a bunch of kindergarteners throwing a temper tantrum in the store because their mommy won't buy them the toy they want. Governing means working with people to find solutions to the problems we face. The TEA Party doesn't seem to be mature enough to understand this yet and it is time for Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor, and the rest of the GOP to sit these TEA Party children down and explain it to them.

    July 26, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. fiskenmann

    George Lopez says he is leaving the US if Palin is elected. I'll change my vote for that deal!!!

    July 26, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. Joe

    Did it also suck the seven times he voted to increase the debt ceiling a total of $5.265 trillion under President Bush?

    July 26, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. todd

    As a 50 year member of the Republican party, I am disgusted in my party for creating this crisis when there is no reason to do it. We have a real crisis in our economy with a 9.2% unemployment and they are wasting their time on this manufactured crisis. When we won the house, they all said that they were going to work on "jobs, jobs jobs" but have done nothing. They have cancelled all of their recesses to work on this manufactured crisis and now when this is over, they will take time off. They should have worked on the economy and jobs as the top priority like they said they would and then there is plenty of time to work on the deficit. Nothing they are talking about is for this year or next year. I want them to fix the deficit this year but it is not a higher priority than our economy and unemployment. I know that they are trying to make the economy as bad as possible to get Obama defeated in 2012 but how about caring for our country first. Plus this strategy is going to backfire and we are going to lose the House in 2012 if we don't get our heads out of our rear ends. I am so disappointed in this new Republican party. Heroes like Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush could not even get elected in this new ridiculous right wing party

    July 26, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  9. Peter E

    Political theatre. That's all this is. The republicans accuse democrats of refusing to cut social spending while raising revenue, while it is now Boehner's plan that does exactly that. Meanwhile they oppose Reid's plan even though Reid completely caved in to republican demands by elliminating new revenues and by introducing cuts to social spending. Who is Boehner trying to fool? They flip-flop on every proposal while accusing the other side of not giving into demands? If the demands keep changing, how is one supposed to compromise to that?

    July 26, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  10. JLP

    Just remember folks,this would not be happening if we had a sitting GOP president.This whole farce is designed to make Obama look weak and lead to his defeat in 2012. I did not vote for Obama in the last election,but this is shameful and is harming our country.

    July 26, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  11. Marc

    If the United States defaults then Eric Cantor's lfamily business should faulter. This spoiled brat appears to know nothing about economics and is probably too lazy to draft a real restructuring plan for the econoomic system in this country. I guess that comes from his parents giving him everything and his lack of want. I think he is more of a political animal who only cares about himself and not really of the country. Over the centuries there have been thousands of these characters. They did not produce one positive result other than lining their pockets and their own conceit.

    July 26, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  12. Mark L.

    "This is the path to victory for the American people, Speaker Boehner said..."...No Mr. Boehner...This is the path to complete chaos and annihilation of the American people.

    July 26, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  13. Jen in Boston

    "The path to victory"–are you freaking kidding me?? This isn't supposed to be about anyone's "victory," it's supposed to be about making reasonable, fair decisions on behalf of our nation. Republicans in Washington can no longer be entrusted with honest leadership because they now see EVERYTHING through a prism of war: war on terror, war on Islam, war on Obama, war on Democrats, war on the Marxist takeover of America. Add to those their imaginary wars–the imagined wars against family values, marriage, business, Christmas, and the Constitution. They are out of their minds and they're going to destroy the U.S.

    July 26, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  14. vodknockers

    The real story today is about Operation Fast & Furious.
    In the House today, investigator Rep. Isssa's probe into fast and furious has taken us to a Holder aid..
    getting closer to Obama. He's stressed and more worried about this than
    anything else.. Now the Obama administration is intimidating witnesses
    (a play out of the voter intimidation playbook)
    Go to the Washington Times it for yourself...CNN won't report this!

    July 26, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  15. Mark Hinman

    If your jobs is too difficult, you are more than welcome to resign. A vote against raising the taxes for the rich will mean a vote against you in the next election.

    July 26, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  16. todd

    Stop standing together as Republicans and start standing up for what is best for America or you will lose the moderate Republicans that put you in office. We are getting real tired of this party first mentality and party line voting. Use your own brain and do what is best!

    July 26, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  17. Gloria

    The repubs don't care what impact this have on this country as long as they make sure this happen on President Obama's watch. They never did or would never do this to anyother President. They continue to point fingers at the President and ignore the fact that they started this mess before President Obama ran for office. We notice the media want even mention this to any rebup when they are talking to them. They made their pledges to there groups outside of Washington that is all they care about. I guess everyone who voted for repubs got what they want.

    July 26, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. revolting peasant

    This is my worry about the Republican Party - they act too much as a team, voting together according to their party leadership. These people were elected to represent their constituents, not the party leadership (who, incidentally, are not elected officials.). The Republican party is out there trying to bust unions when they, themselves, behave like a union, holding out for the unreasonable while finding strength in numbers.

    July 26, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. Limbaugh is a liberal

    'But Cantor praised Boehner in the meeting, the sources said, saying he did an amazing job and that conference is behind him 150 percent. '

    That's where the problems start. Republicans don't understand basic math, and therefore make up impossible numbers. One cannot be behind something 150 percent. One can only be behind something 100 percent. That's the maximum by definition. It is revealing about the republicans that they throw around such obviously laughable statements.

    July 26, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  20. valley1234

    Jim Runyan's got the speakers back? what the hell has this come to? down with all republicans in 2012 !

    July 26, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  21. henry s. garner

    I will never vote for a Republican again. The Republicans are are just unrealistant

    July 26, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  22. thruthseeker

    Republicans all togther suck.

    July 26, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  23. Jonathan Davis

    "But Cantor praised Boehner in the meeting, the sources said, saying he did an amazing job and that conference is behind him 150 percent".

    Well there's your problem. You all haven't mastered elementary math.

    July 26, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  24. chelsea12

    Why do the republicans keep wasting time on deals that they know won't pass? Both side are as stubborn as mules. If the country goes into default, like the Tea Party wants, there will be a revolt like this country has never seen before. I suggest that both houses of Congress pull their fingers from you know where and quit blaming each other for the mess we are in and get some real work done. I don't remember any of this cr** when Bush wanted to raise the debt limit 7 times. What is the problem?

    July 26, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  25. RAWoD

    Children. Every single one of these children need to understand who they work for. I'm beginning to think that tar & feathers may be called for.

    July 26, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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