A spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) pushed back Tuesday afternoon against the suggestion that by coming out against the "fiscal cliff" deal passed by the Senate, the congressman was undercutting House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
Majority Leader Cantor stands with @speakerboehner. Speculation otherwise is silly, non-productive and untrue.
— Doug Heye (@DougHeye) January 1, 2013
The majority leader himself added, "Speaker Boehner and I are working with House Leadership and our conference to find best path forward." Boehner and Cantor walked into a House GOP meeting together at 5:20 p.m. but made no comments to reporters.
Cantor’s opposition is likely to doom the chances for fast House passage of the legislation without changes, which could prolong efforts to avert the automatic tax increases and spending cuts that technically took effect on Tuesday.
Moments earlier, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) wouldn't say when a vote might be held. "I think it's important that people read the bill," he said.
Up to this point in the "fiscal cliff" drama, Cantor has played the loyal lieutenant to Boehner, in contrast to his high-profile role in the 2011 debt ceiling fight.