House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the House Republican point man in the deficit talks led by Vice President Biden, has walked out of the negotiations, saying Democrats must take tax increase off the table before he comes back.
“Each each side came into these talks with certain orders, and as it stands the Democrats continue to insist that any deal must include tax increases,” Cantor said in a statement. “There is not support in the House for a tax increase, and I don’t believe now is the time to raise taxes in light of our current economic situation. Regardless of the progress that has been made, the tax issue must be resolved before discussions can continue.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also insisted that President Obama needed to get more directly involved in the Biden-led talks.
According to a GOP source, Cantor has been viewed by House conservatives since the start of the negotiations as the man who would get up and leave the table if talks were moving in an unacceptable direction. Many conservatives were unhappy with the deficit reduction deal struck earlier this year between Speaker Boehner and President Obama, believing Boehner got too little from Obama and that some White House concessions were illusory.