Cantor says he won’t sign Tea Party-backed budget pledge

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In comparison, 103 House members signed a June letter sent to Cantor and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) that recommended “Cut, Cap and Balance” as a solution to the debt-ceiling standoff.

The pledge also has far fewer than the 133 co-sponsors of the leading balanced budget amendment resolution, which was reported in June by the House Judiciary Committee.

So far the sponsor of that resolution, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), who shepherded the resolution through committee, have not signed onto the pledge.

Conservative supporters of the pledge said House and Senate leaders have been thwarting the effort and have not given enough support to the balanced budget amendment vote planned for late July. 

“House folks haven't exactly been helpful. They want to essentially say nothing and commit to nothing so that they can point to whatever is negotiated as a conservative victory, even if it is objectively weak on policy grounds,” one activist said.

Conservative groups are trying to pressure moderate Democrats to support the resolution, which needs two-thirds majorities in each body to be sent on to the states for ratification.

“It's disappointing, but it doesn't make the Balanced Budget Amendment any less important,” Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan’s (R-Ohio) spokesman Brian Staessle said of Cantor’s position. 

Freshmen such as Rep. Reed Ribble (R-Wis.) support a balanced budget amendment and signed the letter supporting the Cut, Cap and Balance approach but “agree with Cantor that the pledge itself ties up practical compromises and may ultimately get you a worse deal in the end if you’re not willing to budge,” according to an aide.