Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House Majority Leader, spent his weekend on the third floor of the Marriott hotel in downtown Baltimore. As his Republican colleagues mingled, munching on finger food and ducking into policy seminars, Cantor lobbied for a united front on raising the federal debt ceiling.
According to numerous House members who spoke with National Review Online, Cantor urged his colleagues to regard the temporary extension, however uncomfortable, as a chance to extract spending cuts from Democrats.
Indeed, during his main presentation on the issue, sources tell us that Cantor detailed his strategy and described the debt-ceiling vote as a crucial “leverage moment” for the new GOP majority.
“In the next few months, many say we face a test with the continuing resolution set to expire and the debt limit vote. I look at them as opportunities,” Cantor said. “These are leverage moments for Republicans, and an opportunity for us to enact real spending cuts and substantially change the way Washington works.”
“The debt limit increase is a result of years of fiscal mismanagement in Washington, and while no Republican came to came to Washington to increase it again, we did come to cut spending, rein in government, and get this country’s fiscal house in order,” Cantor continued. “If we look at the vote on a debt limit package as an opportunity to accomplish those things, we can really start to force the President and Leader Reid in our direction and begin to steer the country back to fiscal responsibility.”