Eric Cantor Makes First Move to Unseat Boehner in 'Fiscal Cliff' Kabuki Theater
On Tuesday afternoon Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) publicly announced his opposition to the "fiscal cliff" deal that the Senate passed on Monday by a 89 to 8 vote. It's unclear if Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) was informed by his second in command of his plans prior to Tuesday's dramatic public announcement.
Opposition to the Senate deal negotiated so publicly by Vice President Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell seems to be growing by the minute among House Republicans as its details have been made public.
An analysis of the Senate "fiscal cliff" bill completed by the Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday revealed that rather than cut spending, the deal will add $4 trillion to the deficit over the next ten years.
Matthew Boyle reported at Breitbart that it includes $41 in tax increases for every $1 in spending cuts. The Senate deal looks more like an exercise in the traditional Washington practice of doling out pork rather than imposing austerity on a bloated federal budget. Numerous special interest groups have secured additional subsidies and tax credits in the Senate bill, including Hollywood, NASCAR, and the wind industry.
Several Republican House members rallied around Cantor's opposition. Late Tuesday Darrell Issa (R-CA), the powerful Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said "I'm with Cantor."
Confronted with this internal opposition, Boehner punted the ball to the House Republican Conference Committee Tuesday evening. A vote on the Senate bill without amendments may be held in the House late Tuesday evening.
Neither Boehner nor Cantor have publicly commented on the possible implications of Cantor's actions on the upcoming election of a Speaker of the House for the new 113th Congress which will convene within days.