WASHINGTON, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Rep. Eric Cantor, U.S. House majority leader, said the planned sequester-driven spending cuts are not the right policy for controlling costs.
Eric Cantor, R-Va., appeared on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday, and said the sequester plans, mandated by the Budget Control Act signed into law in 2011, are not the smartest way to control spending, and accused President Barack Obama of attempting to raise taxes.
"He just got his tax hike on the wealthy and you can't in this town every three months raise taxes," he said.
Cantor said Congress should instead reduce federal employee benefits and use other alternatives proposed by Republicans.
Officials didn't believe the automatic spending cuts would go into effect, but without a bargain in place, the sweeping cuts were left as a default policy and will go into effect March 1.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., also appeared on Meet the Press and blamed Republicans for rejecting tax increases as part of a possible agreement, arguing the changes wouldn't impose a burden for middle class families.
"Sequestration was designed as a budget threat, not as a budget strategy." He added, "It was supposed to be so awful that the super-committee would finally reach a bipartisan agreement."
But Durbin did praise Cantor Sunday for changing his mind on allowing illegal immigrants who were brought into the county at a very young age to ultimately become U.S. citizens.