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Deficit Deal More Likely After Pelosi Offer: Rep. Cantor

Tuesday, 17 May 2011 | 12:08 PM ET

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said there may be hope Democrats and Republicans can come up with a deficit-reduction plan after hearing Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi say everything is on the table.

The Virginia Republican told CNBC Tuesday that one of the big roadblocks has been a "lack of clarity" from Democrats on what they are willing to cut.

Eric Cantor Talks Debt Ceiling
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) discusses the debt ceiling and is hopeful Democrats are beginning to realize medicare reforms are needed.

Pelosi told CNBC Monday that Democrats are willing to make cuts in everything, including Medicare, Social Security and entitlements, to help reduce the deficit.

"Given she says these programs need to be changed, if that is true, perhaps now we’re seeing clarity on the Democratic side of the aisle," Cantor said. "Perhaps there’s hope now that we can all come together."

He would not say whether an agreement can be reached by August, when the U.S. will be in default unless the debt ceiling is raised. Nor would he say how high Republicans would be willing to raise that ceiling in return for their votes, one of Pelosi's concerns. The Republican plan voiced by Speaker John Boehner is for a dollar in cuts for every dollar the debt ceiling is raised.

"We can accomplish trillions in savings if we put our minds to it," Cantor said.

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