Cantor added that "it's important to ask the question and to differentiate what kind of jobs is he talking about."
"Is he talking about government jobs," Cantor asked. "And if so, why is the government hiring people it cant afford to pay?"
Zandi's report did not distinguish between public and private sector jobs lost, but said that real GDP growth would be reduced by .5% this year and .2% next year as a result of the cuts.
Republicans and Democrats appeared poised to approve a bill to fund the government an additional two weeks beyond a March 4 deadline to approve more spending, and Cantor repeatedly stressed that his party did not intend to cause a shutdown. He laughed when asked what he thought of an op-ed by former Speaker Newt Gingrich in the Washington Post last week that hailed the 1995 shutdown as a success and urged Republicans to follow his example today.
"I wasn't here in '95. I'm going to remove myself from being qualified to answer that," he said. "All I can say is I don't believe the American people want to see a shutdown."