White House briefing bites: still "optimistic" on debt ceiling deal getting done
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood at Thursday's White House briefing with Press Secretary Jay Carney.
July 28th, 2011
12:51 PM ET

White House briefing bites: still "optimistic" on debt ceiling deal getting done

Update from Thursday's White House briefing:

Press Secretary Jay Carney says White House "optimistic" Congress will reach a debt compromise:

We continue to believe and remain optimistic that Congress will come to its senses, that cooler heads will prevail and that a compromise will be achieved. As I just spelled out, it really isn't that complicated at this point. What we need to do is get beyond voting on dead on arrival measures that aren't going to become law when we have so few days left to reach a compromise. We need to get that kind of political theater out of our system and get to work on something that can actually pass both Houses with bipartisan support and be signed by the president.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on the chances for a "grand bargain" on the debt ceiling:

All I'm saying is the president was at the table, the potential agreement was on the table, the grand bargain, and the speaker walked away from the table over an issue that can be resolved quite easily.

If the political will is there, we can move back to those negotiations. If that isn't possible in the next five days, then there are ways that we can resolve this issue in a fair compromise that does the key things, which is lock in significant cuts and lift the cloud over our economy and ensure that we're not, you know, playing in this three-ring circus for the next six months.

...I think I've indicated, and I will say it explicitly, that the chances aren't great that we end up between now and August 2nd with a sweeping, grand compromise between the Republicans and Democrats that reduces the deficit $3 trillion to $4 trillion over 10 years, includes balance between entitlement reform and tax reform. That's not likely, but it's available if the political will is there.

Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation and former Republican congressman advice to his former Republican colleagues on dealing with the debt ceiling:

This is a time that I think most of us that have watched politics have never seen before. Because there are people in Congress who don't like the word compromise, who don't believe in it.

We need for people to come together, to set aside their own egos and a certain part of their own agenda for the American people to make sure we maintain the strongest economy in the world to send a signal to the world that we can get big things done.

Secretary LaHood urged Congress to pass bill to fund Federal Aviation Administration:

Since Congress failed to pass an FAA bill, nearly 4000 FAA employees have been furloughed and as many as 70,000 construction workers across America are out of work. Important airport modernization projects have been shut down in every state in the country.

Topics: Briefing Bites • Jay Carney • The News

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Jay in NC

    The reason we are in this mess is because of failed Progressive Liberal thinking. Example, today Jean2009, who post constantly on this blog, touting their progressive liberal mindset, posted this remark to me.

    Quote ....
    @Jay and the reason they send out those checks [Social Security] to me and others is because I sent them the money with the agreement that they would return it and pay interest on it when I retired. They agreed to pay me the benefit & interest for my deposit.

    In plain and simple English: The government owes me a debt ,because over my lifetime I loaned it the money to pay bills, and for that loan they promised to repay me with interest when I retired.
    ... end quote.

    What the progressive liberals fail to understand is that the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) is a tax not a savings account. In Flemming vs Nestor (1960), the U.S. Supreme court held that you have no "accrued property rights" to a Social Security check.


    Yet everyday they will complain that their ‘entitlements’ are being taken away, that they are owed this debt from our country. Because of their demands we are now broke. The greedy progressive liberals like Jean2009 want to take the country for all its worth.

    July 28, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • jean2009

      No. we don't complain we are just due what we paid for....you however welsh on your obligations...and I bet you welsh on all your bills.
      I would count you among the current Nazi element...you are not a conservative but a Nazi.....
      Believe me old people vote....and children who care for their parents vote.

      Below from the Social Security .gov website:
      What does FICA mean and why are Social Security taxes called FICA contributions?

      Social Security payroll taxes are collected under authority of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). The payroll taxes are sometimes even called "FICA taxes."

      In the original 1935 law the benefit provisions were in Title II of the Act (which is why we sometimes call Social Security the "Title II" program.) The taxing provisions were in a separate title, Title VIII. There is a deep reason for this, having to do with the constitutionality of the law (see discussion of the Constitutionality of the 1935 Act).

      As part of the 1939 Amendments, the Title VIII taxing provisions were taken out of the Social Security Act and placed in the Internal Revenue Code. Since it wouldn't make any sense to call this new section of the Internal Revenue Code "Title VIII," it was renamed the "Federal Insurance Contributions Act."

      The payroll taxes collected for Social Security are of course taxes, but they can also be described as contributions to the social insurance system that is Social Security. Hence the name "Federal Insurance Contributions Act."

      So FICA is nothing more than the tax provisions of the Social Security Act, as they appear in the Internal Revenue Code.

      Suggested reading:

      Brighter minds than yours will prevail.

      July 28, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
      • John

        Wow, only the 3rd line before you stoop to calling him a Nazi. How typical.

        Hope For Change in 2012.

        July 28, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
      • jean2009

        @ John no stoop needed. Jay forgets this is a country founded by liberals...the conservatives caught the boat back to England.

        We have change from the failed Bush created debt. Actually what is going on now has nothing to do with debt...it is just an attempt at political coupe.
        Obama -Biden 2012

        July 28, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  2. RespectOthersAlways

    Imagine this: You are Congressman Williams from Florida. You run for office against a Mr. Phillips. There are 400,000 registered voters in your district. In the last election, 300,000 registered voters voted. 100,000 registered voters chose not vote.

    The election was held and here are the results: Mr. Williams received 175,000 votes. Mr. Phillips received 125,000 votes.

    Who do you think won the election? If you said Mr. Williams you will be right. But according to the logic of Congressman Mica and Senator Orin Hatch you are wrong. Mr. Phillips won because Mr. Phillips got 125,000 votes plus the "votes" of the 100,000 people who chose not to cast their ballots.

    According to Congressman Mica, Senator Hatch and the new Tea Party extremists, when it comes to the rights of workers to organize and bargain collectively, workers who chose not to vote in an election must be counted as voting against the union!!! This is the extent to which Mica, Hatch, Boehner, Cantor and the Republican Party will go to subvert core democratic principles. They truly believe that those who chose not to vote should be counted as NO votes.

    Because of this travesty, 4,000 FAA employees have been laid off. Airports serving rural communities have been shut down. 70,000 transportation related construction jobs are at stake! The Republican Party is determined to hold up FAA funding until Democrats agree to count uncast ballots as NO votes.

    Here comes the hard part: What do you think? Be honest. Forget about political parties for a minute and just THINK! Even if you don't like unions, do you believe this is how election results should be interpreted in our good old USA?

    President Obama, Congresswoman Pelosi and Democrats in the House and Senate should be commended for opposing this Republican Tea Party nonsense.

    But where, we must ask, is John McCain, Jon Kyle, DeMint, Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove, Jon Huntsman, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, and all the fearless Republican patriots and champions of democracy? Their silence is deafening!!

    July 29, 2011 at 6:57 am |
    • jean2009

      Playing their usual dirty tricks.

      July 29, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  3. John

    What is going on now is the people of America are trying to get their country back from the failed politicians. You, of course want to deny it, but it is happening at all levels, local, state and federal. We the people are fed up with entrenched politicians and lobbyists.
    BTW, liberal is a relative term. As Dr. Savage says "Liberalism IS a Mental Disorder".
    Our founding fathers were what we call now libertarians.
    "The government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves. I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasteing the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them" Thomas Jefferson.

    July 29, 2011 at 7:35 am |
    • John

      Jean, that failed Bush debt you speak about – didn't the dems, including our current president, vote for it in droves? So let me get this right Bush was responsible fo rwhat he did then – and BO is not responsible for the 4 trillion in debt added since he took office – is that how you see it?
      Also, those Bush tax cuts that the libs keep blaming – didn't our current president sign a bill that extended them? But somehow he isn't responsible for that either?
      How about the line that came out of the WH yesterday "The Republicans Are Going To Ruin Our Christmas"!! LOL... More terrible numbers reported today by the Commerce Department. Must be Bushs fault? Maybe it is the Republicans fault? Maybe we can blame Al Sharpton, nobody like him anyway.
      "If we budget 14 trillion now to cover the moon with cheese. Then we create a budget and say we are cutting 14 trillion by not covering the moon in cheese we just saved 14 trillion" Paul Ryan on the House floor yesterday describing Reids plan.

      July 29, 2011 at 8:57 am |
      • jean2009

        From the Nj com July 27,2011
        "On national deficit, Bush left Obama holding the bag"
        "In a July 23 letter, “Founders Foresight,” the writer states that Presidents Washington, Jefferson and Madison “were cautious and concerned about creating a national debt.” It is unfortunate that President George W. Bush did not take their advice. Bush inherited a $150 billion surplus from President Bill Clinton. The balance sheet in 2001 was so good that Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, at his first meeting with the new Senate Budget Committee, expressed concerns about paying the national debt off too fast.

        He need not have worried. With massive tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, two wars and Medicare Part D all paid for, not by budget offsets or raising taxes but by raising the national debt, Bush was not concerned. After all, under Republican administrations like his, deficits didn’t matter. The real upside to all this was he could always leave the next president — in this case, Democrat Barack Obama — holding the trillion-dollar deficit bag."

        "However, during the administration of President George W. Bush, the gross debt increased from $5.7 trillion in January 2001 to $10.7 trillion by December 2008 [17], rising from 57.0% of GDP to 74.5% of GDP. The Congressional Budget Office estimated in March 2009 that under the Obama administration public debt would rise from 40.8% of GDP in 2008 to 70.1% in 2012.[18] Gross debt did rise to 84.5% of GDP at the end of Fiscal Year 2009 and to 93.5% of GDP at the end of Fiscal Year 2010. The Obama administration has overseen the highest debt, deficit and debt as % of GDP in the nation's history, although in fairness the majority of this was inherited from past administrations. A major increase in the public debt was the bank bailout crisis in the last months of the Bush Administration, during the 2008 presidential election cycle, and part of the larger current Financial crisis (2007–present)"

        Like garlic George W. Bush's failed policies will linger for years.

        July 29, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  4. kefa34

    who is honored
    he is honors his fellowmen.
    let not your learing exceed your deeds
    lest you be like a tree with many branches and few roots.

    July 29, 2011 at 10:29 am |