Today’s Q’s for O’s WH

Apr 18, 2011 2:23pm

ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports: 

MILLER:  “Jay, there's some legitimate sentiment on the Hill that the talks on deficit reform that the president called for last week have really undermined the work that the Gang of Six has been doing, working on for months.  They're just a few weeks from — away from releasing their own plan.  Why not wait for them, or why not include them more in the talks?

CARNEY:  Well, we — look, the president has said and others have said that we wholly endorse the fact that serious-minded lawmakers of both parties in that group and others have taken on this issue and approached it in a way that recognizes the importance of getting something done and the need to do it in a balanced way. The fact that the president has come out with his vision should be a positive reinforcement — another indication that this is  important work that needs to be done. 

And the fact that the president built his vision by borrowing in many ways from the recommendations of  the bipartisan commission, on which a number of members of that Senate  group sat, and that he has been — his approach has been praised by  people — independents in the field — in this field, if you will, of  fiscal reform like Pete Peterson and David Walker gives a good sign –  a good indication of the fact that there is a building consensus around the way to approach this problem. So he thinks it's very complementary to the process.

MILLER:  So creating another group you don't think undermines what these Senators –

CARNEY:  Well, look, the reality is that for anything to pass  Congress, you need 60 votes in the Senate and 218 votes in the House.  So, you know, we need to build off of all the existing groups, if you will.  We need to bring together, through a process that has to  involve the leadership, those Republicans and Democrats who can find consensus on common ground, on measures to reduce our deficit and  begin to reform our fiscal policy in a way that makes us stronger for the 20th century — 21st century, rather.

MILLER:  And President Obama is hitting the road this week.  What is his message for the American people?  How is it different from his speech last week?  And what do you guys intend to get from the Facebook town hall?

CARNEY:  Well, the message he's carrying to Virginia tomorrow, to California Wednesday, to Nevada on Thursday is very much the message that he laid out on Wednesday.  And it — you know, you  can't just say these things once.  And you need — he very much looks forward to engaging with Americans, you know, outside of Washington to talk about how we got here, why it's so important to deal with this  need for fiscal reform and what the — what his vision is for getting there. 

You know, this is — can be extremely arcane and esoteric stuff when people — when Americans out here are worrying principally about the economy and job creation and gas prices.  And he wants to explain why, for the sake of our economy, we need to move forward on fiscal reform, share responsibility and share the burden, as we go forward, to create an America that is stronger and creating more jobs in the future.”

-Sunlen Miller

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