White House: Debt Ceiling Talks "In Abeyance"

Jay Carney

The White House is trying to put a positive spin on the implosion of the debt ceiling talks earlier today, saying the process is proceeding “as envisioned.” Speaking to reporters on Air Force One, Press Secretary Jay Carney said the President had always expected to join the talks once Vice President Joe Biden and Republicans found “common ground.” 

“These talks are essentially in abeyance for now. They may or may not resume in different forms,” he said.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor and other high-ranking Republicans quit the talks this morning because the White House would not take tax increases off the table. Speaker of the House John Boehner reaffirmed that he too would not support any tax hikes as part of the debt ceiling hike.

Republicans are demanding that any increase in the debt ceiling be matched by an equal amount of spending spending cuts.

Carney said the President believes “everything’s got to be on the table,” including “cuts in our tax expenditures,” budget-speak for eliminating tax loop-holes and subsidies.

“The president supports a balanced approach,” Carney said. “He does not support an approach that provides for a $200,000 tax cut for millionaires and billionaires, paid for by a $6,000 a year hike in expenses and costs for seniors and he believes the American people support him in that.”

As for the next step in the debt ceiling negotiations, Carney would only say that today marks the next phase in the talks. Presently no further meetings with Republican leaders are scheduled.

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