Cantor digs in on taxes

An animated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Monday dug in on the issue of taxes as a stumbling block in negotiations to raise the debt deal, saying any agreement must not raise net tax revenues for the government.

Speaking less than an hour after President Obama concluded his press conference, Cantor referenced the House GOP’s campaign Pledge to America, holding it aloft to demonstrate the repeated promises Republicans have made not to raise taxes.

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“As part of any deal, we’re not asking the president to violate his promises to the people of this country, and we wish he wouldn’t ask us to do the same,” Cantor told reporters at the Capitol.

Cantor will join other leaders at the White House on Monday afternoon for the second straight day of meetings to bridge an impasse over the debt limit, which the Treasury Department says must be raised by Aug. 2 to avoid a default by the U.S. government.

“The commitment for us, again, in our pledge is we’re not raising taxes, so it’s got to be net revenue-neutral,” Cantor said.

“We don’t believe that we ought to be raising taxes right now on people in this recession and in this economy, and they do,” the majority leader added.

“That is just an irreconcilable difference, and if the president wants the debt ceiling, we’re not going to go along with that if they want to raise taxes, and it just is what it is.”

Cantor downplayed his differences with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who had wanted to negotiate a grand bargain with Obama that would achieve budget savings of more than $4 trillion but include new revenues. Cantor said he and Boehner “are in the same place.”

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