Published: Jan 24, 2011 9:22 PM EST
Updated: Jan 24, 2011 6:25 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) - A top House Republican says the federal government will not bail out fiscally ailing states. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia also says he opposes a proposal to revamp federal laws to let states declare bankruptcy.

 At a time when most states are running huge budget deficits, some congressional Republicans and conservative groups are suggesting that states be allowed to seek protection in federal bankruptcy court, which they are currently not allowed to do. They are generally opposed by public employee unions, liberal groups and some lawmakers of both parties.

Cantor told reporters on Monday that he opposes letting states declare bankruptcy because they can already balance their budgets by cutting spending or raising taxes.

For the same reason, he said no federal bailout is needed.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)