House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says that Republicans will have a budget proposal by the end of the month that will include entitlement reform, unlike the one put forward by President Obama.
“Everyone knows the uncertainly hanging over the economy is caused by the entitlement future of this country,” the Virginia Republican said on MSNBC's Morning Joe today. “And we just can't keep going like we're going.... We can move to protect today's seniors and those nearing retirement. But for the rest of us, we have to come to grips with the fact if we're going to save these programs, they have to change.”
The House passed a two-week continuing resolution on Tuesday that will cut $4 billion in spending, but does not include cuts to entitlements. Cantor said that it’s only a matter of time until the GOP and the Democrats come together for a “grand bargain” that will fund the government for more than just a few weeks at a time.
“I don’t think we have a choice,” he said. “If you want to provide the kind of environment where there's going to be... long-term economic growth, make sure you get your fiscal house in order. We're taking the small steps this week and we'll continue to do that for this fiscal year.”
Cantor said that working with the White House has already become easier now that William Daley has taken on the role of Obama’s chief of staff. According to Cantor, he has already had more conversations with Daley in the past couple of weeks than he had with Rahm Emanuel for the two years he held the position. Cantor said this bodes well for cooperation.
“It's going to take both sides to work together,” he said. “I don't think that you're going to get entitlement reform until both sides are willing to admit we have a real problem here, and we have to face the facts and be honest with people.”
Clarification: The original version of this story misstated the timeline for the GOP budget as described by Majority Leader Cantor: He said the budget would be presented later this month or early next month.