The Bank Fee and Construction on the Oval Office — Today’s Q’s for O’s WH – 2/1/2012

Feb 1, 2012 2:50pm

TAPPER: Mr. Secretary, wasn’t it two years ago that the administration first proposed the bank fee? Am I right about that? January 2010?

DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT SECRETARY SHAUN DONOVAN: I believe that’s correct.

TAPPER: Is this — this is the same type of bank fee that you’re talking about?

DONOVAN: It — as you will see in the budget, it continues to be a proposal the president believes is the right thing to do. I think, broadly speaking, we believe this is the right housing policy. If Congress believes that there are other ways that we should look at paying for this, I think we would be open to discussions. As the president has done in other situations, we are open to having a discussion with Congress about the best way to make sure the cost of this is covered. What we will ensure, though — and that’s the principle of the bank fee — is that there should be a contribution from those who have contributed to this crisis to make sure that the cost of this is fully covered.

TAPPER: I just wonder, if you couldn’t get this through a Democratic House and Senate, why you think now it would be more — it would have a better chance of taking it through Congress.

DONOVAN: I’m the housing secretary. I’m going to leave the politics and the discussions about what’s possible in Congress on that to others.

**

TAPPER: Can you — there are — there are reports out about some renovations having to do with the Oval Office. And can you explain what is true, what is not true? And is the Oval Office going to have to shut down and the president — whoever he may be — be relocated to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building?

CARNEY: Jake, I have a very broad portfolio, but renovations to the campus here are not part of it. So we refer those questions to the GSA, which handles the renovations and all the work that’s done on the property here. So I don’t have any specifics for you; I would just refer you to the GSA.

-Jake Tapper

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