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February 11, 2016

Cantor Insists on Budget ‘Reforms’ in Return for Debt Hike

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., outlined a plan Friday to hold federal spending and the debt limit hostage — but not necessarily over Obamacare.

“House Republicans will demand fiscal reforms and pro-growth policies which put us on a path to balance in ten years in exchange for another increase in the debt limit,” Cantor wrote in a memo to GOP lawmakers.

With President Barack Obama vowing not to negotiate, the United States faces a default crisis a little over a month after lawmakers return.

Cantor’s threat has a somewhat different standard than the demand from Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, that any increase in the debt ceiling be accompanied by an equivalent amount of “cuts and reforms.” Boehner’s demand, known as the “Boehner rule,” was violated earlier this year when the House punted on the debt limit, but the speaker recently promised a “whale of a fight” this fall.

Cantor also said Republicans would demand Obama agree to keep the sequester in place past Sept. 30 — and slash $64 billion from the levels Obama signed months ago.

“In signing a CR at sequester levels, the President would be endorsing a level of spending that wipes away all the increases he and Congressional Democrats made while they were in charge and returns us to a pre-2008 level of discretionary spending,” Cantor said.

Whether Obama will sign such a short-term spending bill is an open question. The White House has repeatedly declined to answer whether Obama would sign a bill that lets the sequester continue. If the Senate blocks the measure, or Obama vetoes it, a partial government shutdown will ensue.

That, of course, would require Cantor to be able to actually pass such a bill through the House. And Cantor’s memo makes no mention of tying the CR to Obamacare — something scores of the GOP conference have sought.

Instead, Cantor alludes to Boehner’s strategy to chip away at the law through “a series of strategic votes.”

If that’s not enough for the rank and file, GOP leadership will either have to include Obamacare defunding in the CR and endure headlines saying they are risking a government shutdown, or they will have to woo Democrats for votes.


  • Jesse4

    I wonder how much damage to the economy they’ll do this time around. These House Republicans are getting expensive.

    • zj sky

      whatever damage they do it will be nothing compared to the mess we have seen since 2009 under Obama. How is unemployment and our GDP doing these days brah? LOL

  • repubcooks

    Because the gop will hold the economy hostage again, the fed won’t need to end qe! The gop anarchists need to be tossed out in 2014!

  • Butteblack

    All the democrats need to do is claim racism and Cantor will fold his tent and go away.

  • Defend Liberty

    A free country’s rewards serve to communicate how much certain achievements are worth, regardless of the amount of effort expended in their pursuit.

  • vikings55

    Then the President says he won’t negotiate. Then what? Don’t take the hostage unless you are willing to shoot it. He has already said the Gov won’t shut down and defaulting would be disastrous to the world economy. Leverage gone.

  • DrSquishy

    What “reforms” is Cantor talking about? I don’t see any Democrats voting for any reforms. It must be the House Republicans who are going to be voting for those reforms.

  • ranger99

    What makes the GOP think they are in a position to demand anything? They can either cleanly raise the debt-ceiling or they can face the wrath of an enraged electorate when the global ecomony comes crumbling down.

    Can anyone, anywhere tell me what leverage the Republicans have? Their only threat would lead to their own political suicide.

  • thereasonableprogressive

    Congressman Cantor says, “House Republicans will demand…” Demand? This is a democracy, a system of government that “demands” bargaining and compromise. Besides you guys still don’t have a majority. Trying winning some elections before you demand anything.

    • zj sky

      we won the last two presidential elections before Obama and had control of Congress from 1996 to 2004. Do you think this won';t happen again? LOL, start thinking before you post online and embarrass yourself.

  • ranger99

    “a series of strategic votes.”

    That’s code for “We’re going to waste more time and money with symbolic show-votes to repeal the ACA a few dozen more times knowing full well that they’ll never get taken up by the Senate just like the last forty votes.”

  • Superpower

    This MF’ers political career is DONE!

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