REFILE-Obama would be responsible for US shutdown -Cantor

* Cantor says Obama needs to heed voters, change course

* McConnell says he hopes to ‘do business’ with Obama
(Refiles to add dropped word in lede)

By Thomas Ferraro

WASHINGTON, Nov 7 (BestGrowthStock) – A top Republican refused on
Sunday to rule out the possibility of a U.S. government
shutdown next year over growing U.S. federal deficits but said
if there were one, President Barack Obama would bear
responsibility.

House of Representatives Republican Whip Eric Cantor said
it’s up to Obama to work with Republicans since they won the
House from Obama’s Democrats in last week’s election, vowing to
slash spending and shrink government.

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Cantor focused on Obama
when asked if Republicans could provide assurances that they
wouldn’t let the government shut down in any confrontation with
the White House, disrupting all but the most essential services
to millions of Americans.

“The president’s got a responsibility as much or more so
than Congress to make sure that we are continuing to function
in a way that the people want,” Cantor said.

“This president certainly, as in his own words, took a
shellacking by the voters” in Tuesday’s election that saw
Republicans take the House and cut the Democratic majority in
the Senate, Cantor said.

“It is time for him to try and come meet us and say, ‘Fine,
let’s get back to the kind of things that Americans are about.
It is living within our means,'” said Cantor, in line to become
majority leader when the new Republican House convenes in
January.

As majority leader, Cantor would be the Republican’s No. 2,
behind only John Boehner, expected to become the chamber’s new
speaker, replacing Democrat Nancy Pelosi.

The U.S. budget deficit for the fiscal year that ended
September 30 was about $1.3 trillion, with the U.S. debt
topping $13 trillion. Congress must decide next year whether to
raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling to avoid a U.S. default.

At the same time, if the White House and Congress can’t
agree on new spending plans, there could be a government
shutdown.

Obama inherited a deep recession when he took office in
January 2009 and within months got fellow Democrats in
Congress, over a wall of Republican opposition, to pass an
unprecedented $814 billion economic stimulus package.

The economy is growing again, but unemployment has risen,
reaching a stubbornly high 9.6 percent.

House Republicans aim to slash spending by $100 billion
next year, pushing it back to 2008 levels, with exceptions for
programs for the elderly, the military and veterans.

They are being pressured to cut costs by the
anti-establishment Tea Party movement that helped them make big
gains on Election Day.

Republicans also vow to begin to “repeal and replace”
Obama’s healthcare overhaul by denying funding to fully
implement it.

EARLIER SHUTDOWN BACKFIRED

These plans have brought back visions of spending battles
that led to a government shutdown in 1995 after Republicans won
the House from President Bill Clinton’s Democrats. That
shutdown backfired politically on the Republicans, helping
position Clinton win re-election the following a year.

House Republicans are determined not to make political
missteps that give Democrats a boost in 2012.

Republican Senator-elect Rand Paul, a Tea Party favorite,
told ABC’s “This Week,” that his top aim is to trim the federal
debt,

“We have to do something about the debt. I think we’ve been
fiscally irresponsible for a generation or more here,” he
said.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who has said his
leading goal is to deny Obama re-election in 2012, said, “We
hope to do business with the president on a number of things.”

One area is whether to increase all or some of Bush-era tax
cuts — for the middle-class as well as wealthier Americans,
including many small business owners — set to expire at the
end of this year.

Obama called a Republican proposal to extend tax cuts to
wealthier Americans for two years a “basis for conversation”
and said he sees a potential for compromise.

In an interview on the CBS show “60 Minutes” to air on
Sunday night, he said his top priority was making sure taxes
did not rise on Americans making less than $250,000 a year.

Extending tax cuts could swell the federal debt. But
Republicans argue that allowing the tax cuts to expire would
hurt economic growth.

“The issue here is whether you want to raise taxes on small
businesses in the middle of what most Americans think is a
recession,” McConnell told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“I and all of my members think it’s a bad idea to do that.
I do sense some flexibility on the president’s part and we’re
happy to talk to him about it,” McConnell said.

(Additional reporting by Donna Smith and Eric Beech, editing
by Philip Barbara)

REFILE-Obama would be responsible for US shutdown -Cantor