Carney, when pressed whether the president’s statement that he would “reject” attaching the Keystone pipeline to the deal meant he would veto it, was noncommittal. “Reject means reject,” Carney said. He noted that Senate Democrats have already said the pipeline wouldn’t go anywhere in the Senate, so there would be nothing to veto anyway. Carney said the pipeline has “nothing to do” with whether people should have their taxes raised at the end of the year, and he said that sort of maneuver is “what gives Washington a bad name.”
Carney said Republicans’ proposals would put the “burden on working families” so that the GOP could protect loopholes and subsidies for big corporations and millionaires. He also rejected a GOP proposal to pay for the bill by cutting subsidies from the new health care law, which Carney described as refighting an old battle.
Carney said asking the middle class “to bear the burden of this deal is punishing the people you are trying to help with this middle-class tax cut.”
Noting that Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (Ohio) said he was more supportive of the package because Obama was against it, Carney wondered whether Obama should come out and say he’s against education, infrastructure and the payroll tax cut to try to get the Republicans to support them.
Carney also repeated that the president is prepared to stay in town, through Christmas if necessary, until Congress acts to extend the payroll tax cut.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.