Top Republicans Bail on Deficit Talks

Well, this doesn’t bode well. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has dropped out of bipartisan talks convened by Vice President Joe Biden to reach a deal on deficit reduction, and Republican Sen. Jon Kyl is said to be pulling out as well. Cantor said his decision to leave was the result of a disagreement over whether to raise taxes. Democrats, as well as leading economists, say it’s impossible to close the deficit without increased revenues, but Republicans have categorically ruled out any tax hikes. Cantor said President Obama must weigh in on taxes. Biden’s talks had been seen as the best bet for reaching a deal on deficit reduction, and Cantor’s departure was sudden: even GOP leaders were said to have been taken by surprise. His move puts increased pressure not only on President Obama but also on Speaker John Boehner, to whom Cantor plays the role of both deputy and rival.