Dem. Caucus Chair Cites Colleague: Even If ‘Obama Comes Up with a Cure for Cancer,’ GOP ‘Might Walk Away’

By Nicholas Ballasy | July 25, 2011 | 4:57 PM EDT

( – When addressing the ongoing negotiations between congressional leaders and the White House over increasing the nation’s debt ceiling, Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, referencing his colleague Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), said House Republicans might walk away from President Barack Obama even if he "comes up with a cure for cancer."

Larson also said that the household economy of every American was “being held hostage” by the Republicans in the House of Representatives.

“What we do know is this: our colleague Carolyn Maloney left, but I think she said the other day that the Republicans walked out on the vice president,” Larson told reporters at the Capitol on Thursday during a press conference with other Democratic leaders, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and James Clyburn (D-S.C.), about job creation.

Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) (AP Photo)

Larson continued: “They walked away from McConnell and Reid. They walked away from the ‘Gang of Six.’ They’ve walked away from the president -- not once but now  twice -- and I think she concluded by saying, if Barack Obama comes up with a cure for cancer, they might walk away from that as well. That is the theater. That’s where the politics are being played.”

Larson was alluding to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) deciding to leave the early debt limit negotiations with Vice President Joe Biden, and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announcing over the weekend that he was withdrawing from discussions with the White House to focus on forging a plan with the Senate.

Larson called on Congress to pass a full $2.4 trillion debt limit increase with no spending cuts.

“We can’t continue down this path where not only the world economy, the national economy, but the household economies of every American is being held hostage by the Republican majority,” said Larson.  “It’s time to pass the debt ceiling – get it done. We could meet tomorrow and do a clean debt ceiling and move on.”

House Speaker Boehner reportedly is considering a plan that would increase the nation’s debt limit – currently at $14.29 trillion – by $1 trillion and cut spending by $1.2 trillion.

Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-Nev.) has proposed increasing the debt limit by $2.4 trillion while cutting spending by $2.7 trillion.

The debt limit, or debt ceiling, is the amount of money the federal government is legally entitled to borrow. The current debt limit, $14.29 trillion, was reached on May 16. Lawmakers and the president are expected to work out some deal to increase the debt limit on or before Aug. 2.