Cantor Says Dem Tax Hikes, Not 'Corporate Jet Loopholes,’ Stopped Biden Talks

By Tierney Smith | July 7, 2011 | 10:41am EDT

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va. speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill on Monday, Feb. 28, 2011, as Congress resumed work on a spending plan to avoid a government shutdown. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

( – House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Wednesday that talks on the debt ceiling led by Vice President Biden did not end due to “loopholes” for corporate jets, as President Obama has indicated. They ended, he said, because “the Democrats wished to impose tax hikes on small businesses and families in this country.”

“(T)o hear the president come forward and indicate somehow that those talks stopped, or blew up, over loopholes is just not the case,” Cantor said at a pen-and-pad briefing on Capitol Hill.

“I mean, think about it. Think about the revenues that he is talking about. The changes that he’s advocating and the depreciation schedules for corporate-owned jets is about $3 billion over 10 years.  That’s in the context of the over $2 trillion in savings that the Biden talks could envision.  Now that’s, again, that’s just not serious to say that somehow we Republicans walked out over a corporate jet loophole. It’s not the case.”

President Obama mentioned the supposed corporate jet tax loophole six times in a press conference on June 29.

“The tax cuts I’m proposing we get rid of are tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires; tax breaks for oil companies and hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners,” Obama said at the time.

Cantor, meanwhile, noted that the president had also had called on Republicans to “leave the talking points at the door.”

“I’m hopeful he takes his own advice,” Cantor said of the president. “Because those talking points associated with corporate jets and loopholes are just that.  They’re talking points and they’re not substantive in terms of what we’re trying to do.”

Cantor also expressed frustration over the president’s proposal to move the deadline from where it had been initially set on August 2, to July 22.

“Now he is saying we need to act even quicker,” Cantor said. “My response to him is we’ve been working. The Biden group had over 6 weeks of discussions.  I had several one-on-one conversations with the Vice President.  He knows very well where I am and, I think, where most Republicans are and the Speaker is as far as what we need to get done.  And for the President to suggest that we’ve not been hard at work, I’m going to tell him tomorrow, ‘Come on!’ You know, we don’t have to wait ‘til July 22nd.  Let’s do the deal tomorrow.”

The majority leader meets with President Obama today at the White House to continue to discuss the debt ceiling.  

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