House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said today that he remains hopeful House and Senate negotiators will wrap up work on a massive deficit reduction deal before next Wednesday, despite indications the talks are at an impasse.
During his weekly meeting with reporters, the Virginia Republican repeatedly refused to answer specific questions on the work of the super committee. However, he did say his experiences this summer working on a debt limit deal with Vice President Joseph Biden give him sympathy for the negotiators.
“I know the kind of pressure they’re under,” Cantor said, who explained he has “been kept abreast” of the work by GOP members of the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction.
“I hope they continue to do the work and remain hopeful they will come to a deal by the Nov. 23 deadline,” he added.
Cantor said, however, that he does not believe Congress will be forced to impose deep cuts to defense spending and entitlement programs, which are required under the August debt limit deal if the November deadline is not met.
“I don’t think the sequester will be applicable because I believe they will get a deal by the deadline,” Cantor told reporters.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.