Cantor Explains GOP Shift on Revenues

Eric Cantor speaks at the House Republicans unveiling of their new initiative, America Speaking Out, at press conference at the Newseum.National Journal

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said on Monday the willingness Republicans have shown to raise government revenues derived from an interest in preventing tax increases — and the fact that President Obama won reelection.

During previous budget negations with the White House, Republicans have been stridently against raising revenues. But in recent weeks, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and others in the GOP have been willing to eliminate certain tax loopholes. Cantor cites several reasons for the shift.

"Well, the president got re-elected," he said on MSNBC's Morning Joe. "We know at the end of this year taxes are going up on everybody. Everybody: Rich, poor alike"¦ The operation statute will by law make these rates go up. That's what's changed."

Cantor says lawmakers were elected "to fix problems," but he also firmly maintained his opposition to raising tax rates on the wealthiest Americans, as the president and Democrats have proposed.

Congressional aides and White House staffers have been working behind the scenes on a potential solution to the combination of tax increases and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff," but Obama and Republican leaders are unlikely to meet this week, according to reports.