They say “the devil is in the details,” but there were no horns or pitchforks in sight Tuesday in the White House briefing room. Reporters tried in vain to press for details about President Obama’s plan to raise the debt ceiling and deal with the national debt. In the wake of dueling addresses Monday night from President Obama and House speaker John Boehner, the cry for more information could be heard loud and clear.
When asked by a reporter “What is the point in giving a national address without a plan?” White House spokesman Jay Carney responded, “I understand that the idea that there is no Obama plan is point number one on the Republican’s talking points on this issue.” He went on to insist that the president provided details along with numbers last week when he spoke to reporters in the briefing room.
“Why not provide the American people with details for the plan?” asked another reporter. Carney replied, “You need something printed for you? You need something written down?”
The White House has not been explicit about its plan to ride out the debt crisis, believing that saying too much could harm the process. Carney urged, “You know the reason we approached it this way was to create the optimum situation for a compromise.”
In short, the president is calling for $1.5 to 1.7 trillion in discretionary spending cuts, and savings through tax revenue, entitlement reforms and decreased defense spending.
Carney addressed concerns about Congress missing the Aug. 2 default deadline if no consensus can be reached. He said, “We are pushing this to the last minute, and that should not be the case, but in the end we believe Congress will act appropriately.”
(Photo: Jim Watson-Pool/Getty Images)