House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Sunday that Republicans might be willing to compromise on sequester cuts in exchange for talks on reducing entitlement programs.
"What we need to have happen is leadership on the part of this president and the White House to come to the table finally and say we're going to fix the underlying problem that's driving our deficit," Cantor told Fox News' Chris Wallace. "We know that is the entitlement programs and the unfunded liability that they are leaving on this generation and the next."
“We've always said sequester is not the best way to go about spending reductions. It was, as you know, a default mechanism, because Congress couldn't do the job it was supposed to a couple of years ago," Cantor said.
Cantor isn't the first high-ranking Republican to suggest the party is open to sequestration relief in exchange for a focus on entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has expressed similar sentiments, telling the National Review, “You want sequester relief? Then let's talk about a reduction in entitlement spending."
Congressional Democrats have expressed little enthusiasm for the idea.
“Our caucus would not accept entitlement cuts to replace the sequester -– that’s just replacing crappy cuts with crappy cuts,” one top Democratic aide told The Huffington Post in response to McConnell's plan.