Eric Cantor Quits Debt Talks

  So Eric Cantor says he's out:

Since early May, Vice President Biden has led meetings surrounding the debt limit. The Vice President deserves a great deal of credit for his leadership in bringing us this far. We have worked to find areas of commonality to meet the goal of identifying spending cuts commensurate with or exceeding the amount of the Obama Administration’s request for a debt limit increase. I believe that we have identified trillions in spending cuts, and to date, we have established a blueprint that could institute the fiscal reforms needed to start getting our fiscal house in order.

That said, each side came into these talks with certain orders, and as it stands the Democrats continue to insist that any deal must include tax increases. There is not support in the House for a tax increase, and I don’t believe now is the time to raise taxes in light of our current economic situation. Regardless of the progress that has been made, the tax issue must be resolved before discussions can continue. Given this impasse, I will not be participating in today’s meeting and I believe it is time for the President to speak clearly and resolve the tax issue. Once resolved, we have a blueprint to move forward to trillions of spending cuts and binding mechanisms to change the way things are done around here.

This seems like a power play by Cantor to try to force Democrats and the Obama administration to accept a deal that only includes spending cuts. But by withdrawing from the talks, he's actually improving the Democratic position. It's hard to argue that Democrats are obstructing progress when Republicans won't even sit down at the table. Cantor's position is untenable and I suspect things will change dramatically throughout the day.

8:04 AM PT: Statement from Reid office: "Debt talks are too serious for people to take their marbles and go home. The American public expects more than this.”

8:22 AM PT: Via Brian Beutler, another Senior Democratic aide:

Eric Cantor just threw Boehner under the bus. This move is an admission that there will be a need for revenues in the final deal to cut our deficit, and Cantor doesn't want to be the one to make that deal.

8:31 AM PT: But Boehner is backing up Cantor and says the talks are over unless revenue is taken off table:

These conversations could continue if they take the tax hikes out of the conversation.

DailyKos / By Jed Lewison

Posted at June 23, 2011, 5:53am

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