The White House has apparently changed its tone in dealing with Republicans over the $85 billion in cuts that took effect on Friday with the sequester.
President Barack Obama on Saturday talked with GOP leaders in an effort to build a “caucus of common sense” for a $1.5 trillion deficit-reduction deal, Roll Call
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney jokingly referred to the move on Monday as a “petite bargain,” a variation of ideas put forth by House Speaker John Boehner during the “fiscal-cliff” talks in December, according to Roll Call.
The turnabout by President Obama comes after weeks of slamming the GOP about the impending cross-government cuts, an effort that failed to bring lawmakers to the table, Roll Call reports.
The president “hopes that having achieved this empty victory, at least as they see it, the Republicans will understand that their goals are being unmet here,” Carney said on Monday, according to Roll Call.
Referencing the Boehner plan, Carney said that Republicans would make more headway by working with Obama, Roll Call reports.
“We’re only asking that the Republicans do what the speaker said he wanted to do just two months ago: Enact tax reform, achieve revenues by closing loopholes for the well-off and the well-connected, and use that money towards deficit reduction, a very conservative goal,” Carney said.
Carney also blamed GOP legislators for the sequester, but reiterated that President Obama wanted to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month — though not saying whether Obama would sign what legislation the House Republicans passed.
“We’ll see what the Republicans do,” Carney said, according to Roll Call.
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