Cantor: ‘We Don’t Believe You Should Be Raising Taxes On The American People’

By Edwin Mora | July 11, 2011 | 2:45 PM EDT

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), left, and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Washington ( --- House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said that he and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) are on the same page when it comes to opposing any tax hikes on the American people as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling.

“The speaker and I are on the same page: we don’t believe you should be raising taxes on the American people, especially in this economy,” said Cantor during his weekly pen and pad briefing on Monday.

He later added, “We don’t believe we ought to be raising taxes on people right now in this recession, in this economy -- and they [White House] do and that is just an irreconcilable difference.”

“And if the president wants the debt ceiling raised, we’re not going to go along and raise that if they want to raise taxes, and that just is what it is,” said Cantor.

Cantor noted that any proposal to raise taxes would not pass in the House of Representatives.

“We’re not going to raise taxes, the votes aren’t in the House to raise taxes,” he told reporters. “If they want to vote on the debt ceiling, they’re going to have to come and meet us and we’re going to have a package that does not have any net in revenue.”

The House majority leader pointed out that cutting entitlements is not easy for Republicans, but is necessary to fix the economy.

“Taking away entitlements and the benefits of people is not something that is pleasurable, but we’re trying to get the fiscal house in order here,” said Cantor.

He also said it is “difficult” for fiscal conservatives to even vote on raising the debt limit.

President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, left, meet with Congressional leadership in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Sunday, July 10, 2011, in Washington, to discuss the debt. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Lawmakers are working towards having a vote on raising the debt ceiling before Aug. 2.  Treasury Secretary Timothy Geitner has warned that if the ceiling – now at $14.29 trillion – is not raised, the government could default on some of its obligations. However, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and other lawmakers have explained that there is enough revenue to pay those obligations with the revenue the government already regularly collects.


As reported, federal tax revenues have exceeded federal interest payments on the national debt by more than 10-fold during the presidency of Barack Obama, according to the daily accounting statements published by the U.S. Treasury Department.

There is no way the U.S. government would need to default on its interest payments on the federal debt if the debt limit were not increased and the government allowed to borrow more money than it already has.

Republican House leaders have stood firm on not raising taxes as part of a debt limit increase deal.

Democrats, on the other hand, want to raise taxes. Obama, who wants $600 billion in tax increases over 10 years, today said there would be no debt-limit increase if Republicans do not compromise.