On Thursday, the bipartisan budget talks led by Vice President Joe Biden were effectively sidelined when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) announced they were pulling out.
“Since early May, Vice President Biden has led meetings surrounding the debt limit. The Vice President deserves a great deal of credit for his leadership in bringing us this far. We have worked to find areas of commonality to meet the goal of identifying spending cuts commensurate with or exceeding the amount of the Obama Administration’s request for a debt limit increase,” Cantor said in a statement.
“That said, 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… Given this impasse, I will not be participating in today’s meeting and I believe it is time for the President to speak clearly and resolve the tax issue.”
Kyl echoed Cantor’s sentiments in his statement regarding the talks: “The White House and Democrats are insisting on job-killing tax hikes and new spending… President Obama needs to decide between his goal of higher taxes, or a bipartisan plan to address our deficit. He can’t have both. But we need to hear from him.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, which broke the story, the two GOP leaders were representing the Republicans in the budget talks for the last six weeks, and “(m)ost participants had expected the negotiations would eventually be passed off to Mr. Obama and a higher level congressional leader, but this move may force the shift sooner than many expected.”