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Carney: Obama Still Wants a Grand Bargain

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today said the “Grand Bargain” between President Obama and House Speaker Boehner remains on the table, and that discussions between White House and congressional officials continue.

“It’s never been off the table,” said Carney, who spoke during a morning briefing. “If there is the political will to make it happen, it could happen before August 2nd.”

Carney seemed to be giving in to all GOP demands – suggesting that possible tax increases could be developed after spending cuts are passed – except for one: the president’s political team has apparently decided it must have a debt extension beyond Election Day 2012 and may plunge the country into a default crisis if it doesn’t get it.

Said Carney:

What a compromise looks like is pretty clear: significant deficit reduction; a mechanism by which Congress would take on the tough issues of tax reform and entitlement reform; and a lifting of the debt ceiling beyond — into 2013 so that we do not have the cloud of uncertainty that is hanging over our economy right now and getting darker and stormier as every day passes for another three months, four months, five months, six months, 10 months.

A “mechanism” – perhaps a commission – is a step back from the White House demands of just last week that specific tax increases be included in the heart of the deal.

Carney said the Boehner bill, which only extends the debt ceiling until the end of the year, will never pass the Senate. White House officials are suggesting that the legislation will Steal Christmas because the debate would start all over again during the holidays.

“The debt ceiling debate would ruin Christmas,” White House political adviser David Plouffe said today on MSNBC.

Boehner continues to round up votes to try to pass his bill. A vote is expected tonight.

Meanwhile, Carney started setting the stage for the potential blame game to come, emphasizing that it’s the job of Congress to raise the debt ceiling and that failure to do so will be its fault, not Obamas.

It is a matter of due diligence and responsible governance that Treasury will, if we approach that date, as we get closer to that date, explain how it would manage a situation that would be created by the failure of Congress to act and would create a situation where for the first time in our history we have lost our borrowing authority and risk default.

We in Washington, and in particular in this case Congress, controls our fate as regards whether or not we will lift the debt ceiling and allow the United States to continue to pay its — its bills and meet its obligations. Well, and Congress has a way of waiting until the last minute to do the right thing. We remain confident that it will.

31 Responses to Carney: Obama Still Wants a Grand Bargain

  1. The big deal with no er…revenue enhancements…sure, piece of cake…oh, and only a 6-mo extension….You know, like Reagan used to get.

    • A year? Hate to ruin Christmas, although our crew out here has sort of done that anyhow–we don’t like it, it wasn’t what it was, we can’t get presents, someone died near Christmastime, we are sad, this, that…

  2. This sounds like a lot of wishful thinking on MrCarney’s part; he’s hoping that even if the Prez vetos any budget bill or the Senate rejects everything that Congress sends, that the voters will blame Congress for not raising their taxes.
    The Dems have nothing to offer, no budget to discuss, no plan beyond borrowing more money and the Prez has nothing but an enhanced “revenue” plan plus the borrowed money to show the voters.
    It will take some mighty spin to convince the voters that the Repubs in Congress are at fault.

    • I think conservatives like you are banking on a lot of public sympathy for corporate titans and TARP recipients. And the Tea Party is growing less beloved by the nanosecond, or do you think that people elected them to pilot our fugged economy to the brink of its second catastrophe in three years?

      But prove me wrong! Bring on Armageddon!

      • The tea party supporters didn’t give our money to “corporate titans or TARP recipients”, the Dems were responsible for that.
        The POTUS showered our money on WallStreet, the AutoIndustry, the Banking community and the mighty Unions.
        Take your complaints to the Dems and the President.

  3. “Carney said the Boehner bill, which only extends the debt ceiling until the end of the year, will never pass the Senate.”

    So…guess this just proves it. The Executive Branch “owns” one half of the Legislative Branch. Obama’s mouthpiece tells US what will and won’t pass the Senate? No wonder the career senators on both sides of the aisle are trying to discredit the Tea Party. They figure if they can beat us down, they can force the Tea Party freshmen to violate their principles. We’ll see how many they were able to threaten or bribe. If they sell us out now, they will be sent back home in 2012.

      • If the progressives are successful in crashing the dollar, nobody will have any money.

        “The last official act of any government is to loot the treasury.” ~ George Washington

        • Are you implying sending SS is intended to crash the dollar? I don’t think that is supported. The new people coming in with their principles, pledges and perceived mandate have held the line to the extent that this is now a huge issue–that alone is no little thing. Over time, with many of these showdowns and the resumption the appropriation cycle, spending can be cut–and will be. But to not default on the people, remember us?, is not an attempt to crash the dollar.

          • I said nothing of the kind. Social Security has absolutely nothing to do with it. The progressives (or whatever flavor of communism they are calling themselves now) in Congress and the WH want to crash the dollar. I don’t believe the attempts to scare the markets are by mistake.

        • I’ll be taking my complaint’s to the Republicans, and I’ll be taking the Republicans to the nearest lamp post (if there are any unstretched necks left).

          But this is all just baloney. I was just now listening to this morning’s House GOP freshman news conference where they buckled under Boehner’s pressure and are now planning on voting for his bill, which will be sent back by the Senate with revisions which they will, again, grudgingly vote for.

          Let me crystal ball gaze for you: starting tomorrow, the Tea Party will, in earnest, take Fred Thompson’s advice and rake in their chips. Thus will begin the great PR campaign to explain how their goal was all along to focus Washington’s attention on the budget. If they take that tact and rwalize that their bluff has been called: epic win.

          If they string this process along any further, the GOP will have blown their wad once again.

          • Don’t worry, I’m not Norwegian.

            Hey, speaking of that: I remember you conservatives blowing quite the gasket over Ward Churchill calling the 9/11 victims “little Eichmann’s”. Now that Glenn Beck has called the victims of the Norway Massacre “Hitler Youth” (odd since the killer was a Nazi in all but name), I’m sure you no longer doubt that Glenn is a psychopath, right?

  4. I just don’t know how this country got so comfortable being in debt. They should NEVER spend more than they take in to begin with, and now the battle front is not how fast to pay it back, or whether to spend more, or even how much more, but it is how much the deficit is going to increase every year in the future.

    Our federal government is pathetic, and I’m helpless to do anything about it. In the meantime, the list of congress members’ wealth increases is staggering. Again, I’m helpless.

    “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” You probably are if you are a corrupt politician. You probably are not if you are a responsible private sector member, and you may be among a large number of good people whose lives have been devastated by corrupt (or at the very least, selfish) politics. How can we stand for this??

  5. what job skills? lets see, you lie through your teeth (or tooth if your a redneck) and say whatever it takes to get votes..
    you make backroom deals along the way to satisfy your sleazy supporters..and then you get yourself comfortable in office & forget about whats good for your country and lie,cheat,and steal,like hell to protect your turf and make as much $$$$ as you possibly can !
    what skills?