Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.)
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is highly popular with Tea Party-backed freshmen and pushed hard to maximize spending cuts in the 2011 spending deal agreed to on April 8.
He has openly questioned the purpose of the “Biden commission.”
In an April 21 statement he reiterated the GOP demand for spending reductions in exchange for a raising of the debt ceiling.
“Republicans will not agree to raise the debt limit without binding budget reforms and immediate spending cuts that will guarantee we don’t continue these bad spending practices in the future. We can no longer afford to kick the can, and since both parties contributed to getting us into this mess, both have an obligation to get us out. The immediacy of a debt limit increase and a plan to get our fiscal house in order are not – as some in Washington have suggested – mutually exclusive,” he said.
The Republicans have yet to release formal demands. Spending caps were tried before in the 1985 Graham-Rudman-Hollings Act but Congress ultimately was able to avert automatic spending cuts, hence the call for “binding reforms” by Cantor.
Requiring supermajority votes to spend above set levels, or a Constitutional amendment are two ways caps can be made binding.
The 2012 budget resolution has caps for discretionary spending, overall spending and for debt as a percentage of the economy.