Today’s Qs for O’s WH — 9/7/2011

TAPPER: You talked about the meeting yesterday in the Situation Room with senior members of the national security team. Can you tell us who was there?

CARNEY: Obviously, homeland security adviser/Assistant to the President John Brennan; I think head of the NCTC; others – Janet Napolitano, the secretary of DHS. I can get you the full list, but it would be everybody who has — this is all the senior people with areas of responsibility on homeland security.

TAPPER: Secretary Panetta, Secretary Clinton…? CARNEY: I’ll get — I can get you the — I could make a lot of assumptions, get 95 percent of it right and then get one wrong. So I don’t want to list it here.

TAPPER: Can you tell — can you tell us any other steps taken, other than the military installations in the U.S. put on alert?

CARNEY: There’s no specific steps that I can tell you about. I refer you to — I think DHS has talked a little bit about this. Again, there are no specific threats to which we are responding. But we are obviously very vigilant and are taking all the precautionary measures, both seen and unseen, that we believe are necessary around this anniversary.

TAPPER: Just picking up on the point that Jessica was just talking about, the — I understand the feeling that nobody out there would feel like more meetings in the Cabinet Room would necessarily lead to any progress when it comes to negotiating on the Hill. But is it the contention of the White House that the best way to introduce a package that can get through Congress is to — is not reach out and talk to them –

CARNEY: Well, again, I have not said that the president won’t reach out. I simply have no announcements to make about meetings or phone calls at this point.

My point is that he will put forward a series of proposals that by any objective measure and observation, by you and others, are the kinds that have enjoyed bipartisan support in the past. That will be evident upon the delivery of the speech.

The — what is not required is for the president to negotiate in advance the elements of a jobs package with members of Congress, any more than you all called on or your colleagues up on the Hill called on the House Republicans to negotiate with the White House or House Democrats on H.R. 1 prior to its release or on the Ryan budget proposal or on the proposals that have been put forward recently by the House.

So I mean, I think that you have to — the standard has to apply here. I think whether or not a proposal is seriously designed to garner bipartisan support can be judged by the elements of the proposal. If you put something on the table and say, here’s our plan; no, we didn’t talk to anybody about it, but judge it as you will; and everybody looks at it and understands that it has no chance of getting support in Congress, then you can make your analysis accordingly.

You will see in the proposals that the president puts forward that he is very serious about taking measures that are responsible, that have enjoyed bipartisan support and are the kinds that have direct and quick impact on the economy and on jobs.

TAPPER: I would think the argument is that obviously we’re not in the same time than we — than we were in the past.

CARNEY: Well, but there were Republican proposals that have come out in the last couple of weeks.

TAPPER: OK, but –

CARNEY: So again, there were no –

TAPPER: No, no, no, I’m sorry. No, no, no, I’m not — I’m trying to make a different point, I’m sorry. I mean the idea that a lot – that what the president’s going to propose, all of which has enjoyed bipartisan support in the past — but we’re not in the same times, that we — you know, we have –

CARNEY: But you all will be able to judge whether or not the kinds of things the president is proposing — which all will be paid for — are the right answers and are the kinds of things that, if Congress were serious about taking action, Congress would act on.

TAPPER: Right, but when you say that — the point I’m trying to drill down into is the idea that they will be paid for, as opposed to previous stimulus plans in the last 10 years — whatever, 20 years — that weren’t necessarily paid for. When you say it’s going to be paid for, how specifically is it going to be paid for? Is it going to be paid for by contemporaneous cuts and tax increases? Is it going to be paid for by, “and we expect Congress in five years to raise this much money”?

CARNEY: No, it will be specifically paid for.

TAPPER: OK. Thank you.

-Jake Tapper

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