Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cantor talks tough on debt ceiling

From Siobham Hughes of The Wall Street Journal on Jan. 18:
WASHINGTON — U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) sounded a tough note on the nation's borrowing limit, saying Republicans wouldn't agree to raise the debt ceiling without assurances of cuts in government spending.

"We are simply not going to accept an increase in the debt limit without serious cuts and reforms," Mr. Cantor told reporters Tuesday. "If our votes are needed, which I assume the president thinks they are, then we will be acting to ensure the people that elected us that Washington's spending binge is over."

Other House Republican leaders have said that the debt limit will have to be raised, with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) saying recently that he didn't want the U.S. to default on its obligations. But Mr. Cantor declined to make similar assertions, saying that he was "not going to opine one way or the other" about whether Republicans would vote against raising the nation's borrowing limit.

That partly reflects the challenge that Republican leaders may face in keeping their caucus together in negotiations with the White House. Many tea party-backed Republicans have said they will vote against increasing the nation's borrowing capacity, even though failure to do so could cause the federal government to gradually start to shut down or possibly cause the U.S. to default on its sovereign-debt obligations.


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