White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the economy is poised for growth and more jobs, if the GOP doesn’t muck it up.
“Our economy is facing a major headwind ... and that’s Republicans in Congress,” Carney said. He noted that a grand bargain offer from the White House is “still on the table” if Republicans are interested in trying to solve the country’s debt and deficit problems.
Carney appeared to be referring to President Barack Obama’s December offer, which asked for $1.2 trillion in new revenue. That means Obama is still looking for another $600 billion in revenue after getting roughly $600 billion in higher tax rates as part of the fiscal cliff deal. Republican leaders have said any more new revenue is off the table.
As for the looming sequester, Carney said the president would like to see it averted, and he said Obama still wants to see the most comprehensive budget deal possible, with a balanced approach.
“There are responsible ways to deal with this,” Carney said, warning Republicans against eyeing a government shutdown or slowdown for naked partisan advantage.
Carney pitted the sequester and entitlement cuts against tax breaks for oil companies and corporate jet owners, standard fare from the administration in recent years.
Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations for the IRS, arrives for a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the investigation of the IRS' targeting of political groups. Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right to not testify and caused a protest from some committee members when she offered an opening statement and engaged in dialogue with members before invoking the right.
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