Cantor Wants "Binding Timeframe" on Deficit Talks

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 20 2011 4:06 PM

Cantor Wants "Binding Timeframe" on Deficit Talks

The House majority leader, who has agreed to serve on the new-new deficit commission, issues a statement saying what he wants. One phrase jumps out:

Going in, we need a clearly defined mission and a targeted purpose to be accomplished within a specific and binding timeframe.

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Cantor has been calling for serious concessions before a debt ceiling vote, and he nods at a pretty great PR victory on that count -- the Washington Post's editorial page endorsing the no-vote-without-spending-limits deal.

Earlier this week, S&P downgraded the United States’ long-term credit rating as a result of irresponsible spending practices, further highlighting the need to act immediately and take serious and binding steps to get our fiscal house in order. That is why it is so important that the latest iteration of the President’s fiscal commission be a serious and sincere effort to manage down our debt and foster long-term economic growth, and not serve as yet another arena for political theater. For this commission to succeed, the President must agree to work with us in earnest. Going in, we need a clearly defined mission and a targeted purpose to be accomplished within a specific and binding timeframe. Our economy, global markets, job creators and families cannot afford to wait for the White House and Democrats to drag their feet when it comes to reducing our nation’s debt and deficit; we need real results immediately to make Washington begin to live within its means and get people back to work.

"With the debt limit window fast approaching, House Republicans have made clear that if the President and our Democrat ic colleagues refuse to accept serious reforms that immediately reduce federal spending and end the culture of debt in Washington, we will not grant their request for a debt limit increase. As the Washington Post pointed out, 'the looming debt limit votes offers an opportunity to accomplish some real deficit reduction.’ We cannot afford to sit idly by and blindly raise the debt limit without binding and real spending reforms that will guarantee we don’t continue these bad spending practices in the future.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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