In call with Obama, Cantor says Republicans want to cooperate on spending cuts

The new House majority leader, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), told President Obama in a phone call Wednesday that Republicans hoped to work with him to cut spending and reform the tax code, Cantor’s office said.

Cantor, along with Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), called the White House to officially inform the president that the 112th Congress had convened and elected Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) as Speaker.

The Virginia Republican told Obama that the GOP was “anxious” for him to deliver the State of the Union address at the end of January.

“And I know that many members of our conference are particularly hopeful that we can work together given some of your remarks about spending cuts, that you’ll be proposing in your State of the Union speech,” Cantor said, according to a transcript of his side of the call released by his office. Obama has said the government will have to reduce spending to address the budget deficit, although sharp differences between the parties are expected over the scope of those cuts.

Cantor added: “There are a lot folks, I think on both sides of the aisle, who would like to see some tax reform proposals, so we’d love to work with you on that as well.”

The White House did not release its own account of the call, but Cantor told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the president offered congratulations and said he wanted to work with Republicans “on some of the items that [Cantor] raised.”

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