“What we promised was we are going to bring spending down to '08 levels, okay, and I think all of us know that the sun rose and set in 2008 this is pre-bailout, pre-stimulus levels so we can begin to return this country back to a path of fiscal sustainability so we can get people back to work,” he told me.
I asked the new majority leader several times to put a dollar figure on the savings achieved by hitting those levels. $50 billion? $40? $30?
“George, I tell you won’t give up…this is ‘08 levels George. And you know why the mess we’re in is because there is no budget left from the Democrats during their majority and we are working as quickly as we can to dispatch our committees so we can identify the areas of savings,” he said. “Everything is on the table so we can start living within our means just as every family and business person out there across this country is having to do each day.”
Cantor wants to work with the White House to achieve those goals, he said – specifically about what spending cuts and tax reform he hopes President Obama will propose in his State of the Union Address.
On health care Cantor said Republicans will go ahead with the vote to repeal the legislation. He said Republicans know there is a better way to provide health care and asked Democrats to “dial back the partisan rhetoric.”
“I think the election that occurred and the last couple of months demonstrated that people in this country do not like the ‘Obamacare’ bill, neither do we Republicans. That is why we are going to put a repeal bill across the floor next Wednesday so that we can send a signal that we are dead serious about getting rid of this spending money we don’t have and making sure that we stop the job killing regulations that have followed up after the passage of that bill,” he said.
Watch the interview here: