"And unfortunately, transportation funding is no different. We're just out of money. And so we're trying to take the approach that most American families and business would take, and that is to try and spend within our means, to come with some innovative ways to look at transportation needs and demands in the future, and our being able to meet them."
Cantor's comments were a reply to a question from House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who asked why the House wouldn't take up the Senate-passed transportation bill. Hoyer said he believed the Senate bill, authorizing $109 billion in federal spending over two years, would pass the House with bipartisan support.
But Cantor replied to Hoyer that he doubted the Senate bill would pass the House.
In lieu of the Senate bill, Cantor repeated that Republicans next week would bring up a three-month extension of federal highway programs, which he said would give both parties more time to find a longer-term extension.
Cantor and Hoyer also sparred over the GOP budget resolution, which would cut discretionary spending in 2013 another $19 billion below the $1.047 trillion level both parties agreed to last year. Hoyer warned that Democrats were unlikely to work with Republicans given that they are looking to cut beyond what he said was more than a simple agreement, but was now U.S. law.
"It seems to me that if we're going to try to keep faith with one other, and with the law that we passed, that we should stick to what we agreed to," Hoyer said.
Cantor replied that Republicans see the $1.047 trillion as a cap that can be cut further.
"It is our view that the agreement reached in August at the top line was that, a cap," he said. "We view it very much that we need to continue to try, at least try, to save taxpayer dollars when we are generating over $1 trillion in deficits every year."
Cantor also took a shot at Hoyer's party by saying Democrats are not trying hard enough to reduce the deficit.
"Unlike the gentleman's party or his president, we are actually proposing a solution to the problem, and saving the program for this generation and the next," he said, adding that this debate is "somewhat of an academic discussion given that the Senate's not going to pass a budget."
The House is expected to start work on the GOP budget resolution on Wednesday, and finish up voting on Thursday.