House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) slammed President Obama on Wednesday for what he said was a mischaracterization of congressional Republicans in the president's economic speech.
Cantor accused Obama of saying Republicans had not proposed specific cuts to federal spending, and asked the president to "clarify or withdraw" the remark.
"President Obama must have misspoken today, because I have personally sat across the table from him and suggested specific ways to cut spending," Cantor said. "Furthermore, House Republican Leader John Boehner and I urged President Obama to work with Republicans to cut spending by using his authority to send Congress a 'rescissions' package. In fact, we sent President Obama a letter twice pledging to work together with him on that effort. We still have not heard back — seven months later.
"It doesn’t end there," he added. "Through the YouCut program House Republicans have offered over $120 billion in spending cuts, only to be voted down by Democrats in the House. Finally, House Republicans Jeb Hensarling and Paul Ryan have introduced a 'Cut Spending Now' package of specific cuts that would save taxpayers more than $1.3 trillion.
The Hensarling/Ryan package included a $925 billion savings over 10 years if spending is held at 2008 levels. The plan also includes returning unused economic stimulus, saving $266 billion, saving $16 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, reduce federal government employment and freeze salaries to save a combined $65 billion, adopt the line-item veto to save up to $23 billion and reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for an estimated savings of $30 billion, according to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office.
"President Obama is entitled to his opinion, but he’s not entitled to his own facts," Cantor went on, "and with that in mind I am asking him to either clarify or withdraw the accusation that he made earlier today.”
The president gave the speech in Cleveland.
--Vicki Needham contributed to this story.