"He and I were in discussions for almost seven weeks, when I said again and again that we would be happy to engage in a discussion of tax reform to get rid of those loopholes," Cantor continued. "The gentleman also knows that those loopholes and the costs associated with those loopholes pale in comparison to the problem.
"So I know it makes for good politics to throw the shiny ball out there … that somehow Republicans are wed to that kind of policy to sustain these preferences, when all along, in our budget and in our plan, we have said we're for tax reform, we have said we're for bringing down rates on everybody."
After Cantor left the podium, Van Hollen again highlighted the unfairness of refusing to allow any tax loopholes to be closed in order to reduce the deficit. He also argued that it attempts to "graft the Republican budget plan" onto the U.S. Constitution, by setting new constitutional hurdles to raising tax revenue and spending.
The exchange took place in the first hour of debate on the GOP's bill, H.R. 2560.