Cantor Confident of Deficit Deal

Posted November 14th, 2011 at 5:50 pm (UTC-5)
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A leading Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives says he is confident that the bipartisan congressional committee tasked with cutting the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion will be able to reach an agreement before a November 23 deadline.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor made the comment Monday, as the so-called “supercommittee” of six Democrats and six Republicans tries to agree on a plan by the deadline. The full Congress would then have to approve the recommendations by December 23.

If either effort fails, automatic spending cuts in defense and domestic programs would be triggered, starting in 2013.

On Sunday, U.S. President Barack Obama said he hopes the leaders of the special committee will do what is necessary in the coming days to agree on a plan. During a news conference in Hawaii ((where the president attended a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders), Mr. Obama said the cuts do not require radical changes, and that other countries are having to make much more significant reforms. The president reiterated his call for the deficit reduction to be a balance of spending cuts and higher revenue.

Republicans have been reluctant to accept tax increases, while Democrats have opposed deep cuts to health care and retirement programs.