Update: Speaker of the House John Boehner addressed reporters today and said tax hikes are off the table in the debt ceiling talks.”A tax hike cannot pass the U.S. House of Representatives,” Boehner said. “It’s not just a bad idea, it doesn’t have the votes and it can’t happen.
Original: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) pulled out of the debt ceiling negotiations this morning, a move a senior Democratic aide told TalkingPointsMemo said constituted Cantor throwing Speaker of the House John Boehner under the bus.
“This move is an admission that there will be a need for revenues in the final deal to cut our deficit,” the aide said, “and Cantor doesn’t want to be the one to make that deal.”
Saying he would not participate in discussions on the debt ceiling until the President stepped in to negotiated with Boehner, Cantor is seeking to absolve himself of responsibility in the likely event the final deal includes any tax increases.
Cantor’s announcement that he would quit the talks coincided with a Democratic strategy session at the White House on the debt ceiling discussions. The negotiations, currently led by Vice President Joe Biden, were scheduled to resume this afternoon, though it is doubtful they will continue without their most senior Republicans.
The Majority Leader said in a statement that he does not believe the Republican-controlled House of Representatives would support any new taxes, setting the stage for a showdown with the Obama Administration before the default deadline on August 2.
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