“While the devil will be in the details in terms of fleshing these principles out, our staffs have had very productive discussions with both sides this week,” he said. “We are very hopeful that an agreement can be reached on a specific proposal in the next few weeks.”
During his regular press briefing Thursday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the administration is “encouraged” by the statement from the Chamber and AFL-CIO but sought to keep the pressure on the Senate group. Carney did not address the specifics of the statement, in keeping with the administration’s efforts to stay out of the direct talks.
“We think it represents the continuation of the progress we’ve seen, but we’re focused on the bill that the Senate hopefully will produce relatively soon as part of this bipartisan effort,” he said.
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.