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.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.