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GOP's Cantor pulls out of bipartisan budget talks

From NBC's Luke Russert
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., has abruptly pulled out of bipartisan budget talks led by Vice President Joe Biden, saying that an impasse over taxes cannot be resolved without direct negotiations between the president and Speaker of the House John Boehner.

In a statement, Cantor said that Democrats are insisting that tax increases must be part of the debt limit deal but that there is not sufficient support in the GOP-majority House to pass any tax hikes.

"Regardless of the progress that has been made, the tax issue must be resolved before discussions can continue," he said. "Given this impasse, I will not be participating in today's meeting and I believe it is time for the President to speak clearly and resolve the tax issue. Once resolved, we have a blueprint to move forward to trillions of spending cuts and binding mechanisms to change the way things are done around here."

UPDATE: Republican Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona is also pulling out of the negotiations.

At his weekly briefing, Boehner said that he understands Cantor's "frustration" and that he believes the Biden talks can continue if Democrats take tax increases off the table.

Jon Summers, communications director for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, quickly countered in a tweet, writing that the stakes of the debt talks are too high for "people to take their marbles & go home. The American public expect more than this."

The bipartisan negotiating group has been trying to hammer out a budget deal in advance of an August 2 deadline to raise the federal debt limit.

Carrie Dann contributed.