"Lest there be any doubt why we are so determined to fight — instead of going quietly and giving President Obama his way before Congress bolts for the elections — the GOP has two primary motivations," he wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. "The first concerns the pain that tax increases threaten to inflict on our economy over the short term. The second is to stop the slide under our current leadership towards becoming a stagnant European-style welfare state with limited individual opportunity and entrepreneurship."
Cantor's warning shot at Democrats comes as many expect the Senate to move forward on the Bush tax cuts as early as this week.
Obama has repeatedly called for Congress to extend the Bush tax cuts benefiting the middle class while letting tax breaks for the wealthy expire on schedule at the end of the year.
That plan has been met with resistance from not just Republicans; over 30 House Democrats have asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to allow a vote on extending all the tax cuts, at least temporarily. The Speaker has signaled resistance to that request, however.
Still, House members may have little influence over the fate of the tax cuts. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) last week said that he expects the Senate to act first on the issue.