(CNSNews.com) - House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), a key player in the debt-limit negotiations between congressional Republicans and the White House, dodged the question Tuesday of whether Republicans were insisting that an increase in the debt the government could incur in this fiscal year would be exceeded by spending cuts made in this fiscal year.
Federal appropriations are made on the basis of a fiscal year that begins on October 1 and ends on September 30.
At his weekly Capitol Hill pen-and-pad news conference, Tuesday, CNSNews.com asked Cantor: “Are you insisting that any increase in the debt limit in this fiscal year be exceeded by spending cuts that take effect in this fiscal year? Or are you willing to trade an immediate increase in the national debt for spending cuts that take place sometime in the future?”
"Well," responded Cantor, "what we’ve said all along is that if we’re going to increase the debt ceiling it has got to be accompanied with real reforms and big spending cuts.
"Obviously, the debt ceiling increase is something that the secretary of the treasury has said will take us through, depending on the amount, throughout this certain period of time," he continued.
"What we’re driving towards is as much, as many, cuts in as large of a reform as we possibly can achieve, because you can look at it over the first year, the second year, the first 10-year budget window or long-term managing down the debt and the deficit and that’s where I think the markets are looking poor," Cantor continued.
"I think," he continued, "that the people who put us here are looking to see that we have changed the way the system works so that we’re no longer spending money we don’t have living by the same standard that most people live in their same households and their businesses."
CNSNews.com followed up with Majority Leader Cantor's press office seeking a definitive answer to the question of whether Republicans were insisting that any increase in the debt limit in this fiscal year be exceeded by cuts in spending in this fiscal year. Cantor's office did not provide one.