Last week I pointed out that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor had, rather quickly, put out a statement applauding the Republican Study Committee for its suggested cuts to non-defense discretionary spending.So it's worth following up and printing what Cantor said in yesterday's briefing. "For the first time ever, I'm told," he said, "the CR will come to the floor under an open process. I expect members from both parties, from the RSC to the progressives, to be able to participate and offer their ideas on how we can cut spending and right the size of government in terms of its balance with the private sector."
This prompted an exchange:
Q: Mr. Leader, you refer to the CR as an open process. Is that part of the rescission package that you will be bringing along with it and so it will be on the floor, you will have what the appropriators have given you in terms of meeting those cuts that Ryan had and then the RSC or whoever can offer their version? How long is that going to take and when do you think you will get there to that point?
CANTOR: RSC, progressives, they will all have the opportunity to present their view of how we should cut spending, yes.
Q: At what point will you do that? When will that be on the floor?
CANTOR: We've not announced exactly when that will take place. Stay tuned. But I will say again this is going to be an open process. We have committed in the Pledge to America to have an open process.
So not a full embrace of the cuts yet; the RSC gets to play to the right of the conference. Its cuts are still the most specific ones offered by anyone in 2011, so they generate reactions. The White House, for example, opposes the RSC's suggestion to end public financing of campaigns and conventions.