Cantor gives 'Gang of Six' plan mixed review

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) gave the Senate’s “Gang of Six” deficit-reduction plan a mixed review Tuesday, saying that while the proposal includes “some constructive ideas,” he is concerned about its revenue target.

“We’ve begun reviewing the Gang of Six proposal and while there are still portions that are unclear and need more detail, this bipartisan plan does seem to include some constructive ideas to deal with our debt,” Cantor said in a statement.

He noted that the plan, which calls for $3.7 trillion in long-term deficit reduction, overlaps in some ways with what Cantor and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) have discussed with President Obama. The White House and congressional leaders are trying to forge a deficit-reduction agreement to pair with an increase in the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt limit by the Aug. 2 deadline set by the Treasury Department.

Cantor praised the Gang of Six’s call for a reduction in personal income tax rates.

“That said, I am concerned with the Gang of Six’s revenue target,” the majority leader said. "The plan fails to significantly address the largest drivers of America’s debt, and it is unclear how the goals of tax and entitlement reforms would be enforced. I continue to caution that a tax increase is the wrong policy to pursue with so many Americans out of work.”

Gang of Six members say their plan would be scored as an overall tax cut of about $1.5 trillion, potentially satisfying the House GOP’s opposition to a net tax hike. Cantor did not claim otherwise in his statement.

A Boehner spokesman, Michael Steel, earlier gave a similar assessment of the Senate proposal, saying that while it shares similarities to the framework he discussed with Obama, it “falls short in some important areas.”

Republicans want more structural changes to Medicare and Medicaid than the Gang of Six proposes, and they are concerned with the mechanisms the plan puts in place to enforce its spending reforms.