Republicans won’t agree to closing tax loopholes unless President Barack Obama and Democrats cut taxes elsewhere, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Thursday during a series of morning cable TV interviews.
“We’re not for raising taxes,” he said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “If there is a proposal to increase revenues outside of the potential we can increase them for more economic growth, I’m not for that. I don’t think the Republicans in Congress are for that. That really is where the difference has been. That’s why we walked out of the (Vice President Joe) Biden talks.
He added, “If they insist on hanging on to these political messages on these corporate jet loopholes and the rest that, frankly, amount to $3 billion over savings over 10 years when were talking over $2 trillion in savings, fine, but we need offsetting tax breaks somewhere else.”
Cantor’s interview comes as he and seven other congressional leaders head to the White House Thursday for meetings with President Barack Obama about raising the nation’s debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said the nation will exceed its $14.3 trillion debt limit by Aug. 2.
During a somewhat combative interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Cantor was asked by host Mika Brzezinski “do you see the narrative” about Republicans holding out for a deal that she implied would benefit the rich and corporations at the expense of everyone else.
“This alleged narrative that may or may not be developing, is missing something,” Cantor said. “And its people in this country who are on tough times right now, and what they want is a job. .. We’re trying to address the problem right now, which is the overspending in Washington.”
Cantor said House Republicans are united in opposing any net new tax revenues.
“We are united as Republicans in saying now is not the time to raise taxes,” he said. “I’ve talked with the speaker and he is not for raising taxes.”
And on “Fox and Friends,” Cantor said the same reasons he walked out of the Biden talks last month – the White House’s insistence on increasing taxes on the wealthiest – may doom this week’s discussions.
“We’re not for raising taxes, period,” he said. “At the end of the day, (Obama’s) talking point is going after millionaires and billionaires and what have you. It’s the same argument we had last November. … It’s a very sensible position. We’re not for any net new revenues right now.”
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