Cantor: Budget Cannot Be Balanced in Next 10 Years Without 'Severely Impacting' Seniors -- Which GOP Won't Do

By Dan Joseph | March 8, 2011 | 4:14 PM EST

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Va., left, and House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

( -- House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R.-Va.) said today that the federal budget cannot be balanced anytime within the next 10 years without "severely impacting the benefits" for seniors--something he said the Republicans will not do.

Cantor also said that Republicans are moving towards reforming entitlement programs "for those 54 and younger"--but will not change the benefits of those 55 and older.

At a Capitol Hill press briefing on Tuesday, asked Cantor whether House Republicans will pass a budget that balances sometime in the next 10 years. In response, Cantor said the budget could not be balanced in the next decade without "severely impacting" seniors.

“It is very difficult to balance the budget within 10 years without cutting seniors' benefits now,” said Cantor.  “And as I said before, our vision of entitlement reform will protect today’s seniors and those nearing retirement. As I am told, you cannot balance this budget in 10 years without severely impacting the benefits that current seniors and retirees are getting now.”

“So the answer to your question is our budget will balance in the future while we work to protect today’s seniors and those nearing retirement, and actually move towards reforming the programs for those 54 and younger,” he said.

Earlier in the press conference Cantor said that changes in Social Security and Medicare benefits to those 55 and older are off the table when Republicans propose entitlement reform later this year.

“We have said that those 55 and older will not see any change in their benefits,” said Cantor. “But for the rest of us, 54 and younger, we are going to have to come to grips with the reality that if we’re going to have these programs around and save them, they’re going to have to look a lot different for the younger people in this country.” also asked Cantor whether balancing the budget would be possible while the president’s health care law was still in operation.

“It certainly makes it very difficult for us--more difficult to balance the budget with the current health care bill--the Obamacare bill in place,” said Cantor, “which is why we will be looking to repeal that bill and do everything we can to make sure that it does not take full effect because we have an alternative way.”

“So we want to repeal it,” he said.  “We believe it is a budget buster in a big way.”

The budget that President Barack Obama sent to Congress last month does not balance the budget at any time in the next 10 years and would never bring the annual deficit below $607 billion.