House and Senate Republicans filled out the roster Tuesday for President Barack Obama’s bipartisan deficit-reduction talks, appointing Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) to participate in the negotiations.
The White House hopes the meetings, set to begin May 5, will produce an agreement to raise the nation’s debt limit and avoid the federal government defaulting on its loans.
Cantor and Kyl join Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), House Budget ranking member Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Assistant House Democratic Leader James Clyburn (S.C.) in the talks, which will be led by Vice President Joseph Biden.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) praised Kyl in a news release announcing the appointment.
“Sen. Kyl is a key member of our leadership team and a senior member of the Finance Committee. He understands both the urgency of the debt crisis and the need for a significant effort to reduce that debt before any successful vote on the debt ceiling increase,” McConnell said.
In his own release announcing Cantor’s participation, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) warned that Democrats must accept reductions in spending as part of any deal to raise the debt limit.
“We’ve said, many times, that if the President and our Democrat colleagues refuse to accept serious reforms that immediately reduce federal spending and end the culture of debt in Washington, House Republicans will not grant their debt limit increase. Period,” Boehner said.
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.