Tag Archives: Brady Press Briefing Room

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 7/31/2013

By The White House

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

1:04 P.M. EDT

MR. CARNEY: I know you all welcomed her back on Monday when I wasn’t here, but it is great to have Jamie Smith back, a new mom, and a new, proud mom at that. If you haven't seen her little girl, she is beautiful, truly beautiful. So it’s great to have Jamie back. And it’s great to be here. (Laughter.) Now she’s going to have to go straight to daycare and check in on her. (Laughter.) I remember how that felt.

It’s great to be back here with you today. I have, before I take your questions, just a couple of things I want to note for you.

First, on Tuesday, August 6th, the President will travel to the Phoenix, Arizona area, to continue talking with Americans about his better bargain for the middle class. On Tuesday in Tennessee, the President laid out one cornerstone of that vision, a plan to create good jobs that pay decent wages by investing in manufacturing and infrastructure. Next week in Arizona, the President will lay out his plan to continue to help responsible homeowners and those Americans who seek to own their own homes as another cornerstone of how we can strengthen the middle class in America.

That afternoon, the President will then travel to Burbank, California, to tape an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The following day, Wednesday, August 7th — there’s a Leno fan in the front row I can tell. (Laughter.) The following day, on Wednesday, August 7th, the President will travel to Camp Pendleton to visit with troops and their families and to thank them for their extraordinary service to our nation.

My next announcement is in here somewhere — I thought. So with that — it’s not a big one — (laughter) — it’s just a meeting I'm sure you’d be interested in. No, I just wanted to note — and I will as much as I can off the cuff that today is the 49th anniversary of Medicare, and millions and millions of Americans — senior citizens — have led richer and healthier lives because of this extraordinary program and its success.

The President has, through a number of actions, and most noticeably, through the Affordable Care Act, strengthened Medicare and provided more benefits to seniors. And we are seeing a reduction in the growth rate of costs in Medicare, historic change in that growth rate, and we've seen it, obviously, in the private sector health care market as well. And that is a direct benefit of the Affordable Care Act as we implement it. And so that is a welcome thing.

We have over the years experienced debates about Medicare, calls to see it wither on the vine by some, efforts to turn it into a voucher program, essentially efforts to disrupt, dismantle and, in some ways, ultimately defeat Medicare. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at The White House Press Office

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 7/22/2013

By The White House

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

1:16 P.M. EDT

MR. CARNEY: Welcome to the White House. Happy Monday. Hope you had a great weekend. I trust that you all saw the email that we sent out regarding the President’s travels this week. He very much looks forward to returning to Knox College, where he will deliver an address about the economy, where we are, where we've been and where we need to go — where he will lay out as part of a series of speeches that he’s given over his political career as a national figure about the need to expand the middle class, provide ladders of opportunity to those who aspire to the middle class, and to invest in our economy in a way that ensures that it will grow into the future.

So, with that, I take your questions. Please, Associated Press — Darlene.

Q Thank you. A little bit more on the speech that the President is doing this week. Can you sort of talk about why now? Why late July? And more importantly, who does he think will be listening?

MR. CARNEY: Well, on the first point, the President believes that it is an appropriate time to address the very issues that concern most Americans. There is no question that here in Washington, at least, if not out in the country, there have been a great many distractions from the central preoccupations of the American people, which have to do with the economy and the need to ensure that individuals have good jobs, that they have the ability to take care of their parents in retirement, and they have the ability to pay for college for their sons and daughters; that they have affordable health care, and that they are able to save some money of their own for their retirement; that they’re able to own a house or a home and that that house or home is not underwater.

And what is absolutely true is that we have come a long way since the depths of the Great Recession. We've created over 7.2 million private sector jobs, 40 straight months of economic growth. But we have more work to do. And what the President hopes to do is talk about how we can do that together, how we can do it in a way that ensures not just that jobs are created in the near term, but that we are investing in our future.

And July seems like an excellent time to do it, given that in the coming months we'll see a return to a focus here in Washington on economic issues, and he hopes and believes it’s essential that we set our sights high and that we look more broadly at the state of the economy and where we need to go as a nation as we engage in the discussions that we'll be having in the next several …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at The White House Press Office

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 7/19/2013

By The White House

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

1:52 P.M. EDT

MR. CARNEY: I'm here to take your questions, traditional briefing. I would understand if folks need to go file — that’s fine. And I leave it to our friends in the front row to tell me how brief we can keep this.

Q Yes, keep it short.

MR. CARNEY: Keep it short.

Q Yes.

MR. CARNEY: Let me go to Julie.

Q I guess just to start off, can you tell us a little bit about the process of having that — said remarks happen? Why did the President decide to do it now at the end of the week, almost a week after this verdict?

MR. CARNEY: I'll just say a couple of things, because the process is far less important than the words the President spoke. And he wanted to say something and he came out and said it, and he's obviously mindful of the discussions that have been going on.

I think some of us had discussions earlier this week that when — he was certainly prepared to take questions on this issue when he had some interviews earlier in the week, and would have answered them in probably similar fashion. But he felt like today was a good day to speak about it.

Q And then just on Detroit, the Vice President said in his event earlier today that there have been some meetings at the White House on the situation there. Is there any type of federal response or federal assistance that the White House deems appropriate in this situation?

MR. CARNEY: You have heard leaders in Michigan say — and we believe they're correct — that this is an issue that has to be resolved between Michigan and Detroit and the creditors, when it comes to the insolvency of the city.

Now, we are, of course, engaged in conversations with — about policy options and other ways that we can be of assistance to Detroit, and that includes Gene Sperling, and Valerie Jarrett, and Shaun Donovan, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development — all of whom have had discussions with the leadership team in Detroit and with leaders in Michigan.

But on the issue of insolvency and on those matters, that’s something that local leaders and creditors are going to have to resolve. But we will be partners in an effort to assist the city and the state as they move forward.

Q Is there any talk of a bailout for Detroit?

MR. CARNEY: I think, again, I would point you to what we have said and what leaders in Michigan and Detroit have said, which is that on the matter of their insolvency, that’s something for the city and the creditors to resolve.

Q And how worried are you about the overall impact of this on the U.S. economy?

MR. CARNEY: Well, I don’t have …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at The White House Press Office

Remarks by the President on Trayvon Martin

By The White House

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

1:33 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: I wanted to come out here, first of all, to tell you that Jay is prepared for all your questions and is very much looking forward to the session. The second thing is I want to let you know that over the next couple of weeks, there’s going to obviously be a whole range of issues — immigration, economics, et cetera — we'll try to arrange a fuller press conference to address your questions.

The reason I actually wanted to come out today is not to take questions, but to speak to an issue that obviously has gotten a lot of attention over the course of the last week — the issue of the Trayvon Martin ruling. I gave a preliminary statement right after the ruling on Sunday. But watching the debate over the course of the last week, I thought it might be useful for me to expand on my thoughts a little bit.

First of all, I want to make sure that, once again, I send my thoughts and prayers, as well as Michelle’s, to the family of Trayvon Martin, and to remark on the incredible grace and dignity with which they’ve dealt with the entire situation. I can only imagine what they’re going through, and it’s remarkable how they’ve handled it.

The second thing I want to say is to reiterate what I said on Sunday, which is there’s going to be a lot of arguments about the legal issues in the case — I'll let all the legal analysts and talking heads address those issues. The judge conducted the trial in a professional manner. The prosecution and the defense made their arguments. The juries were properly instructed that in a case such as this reasonable doubt was relevant, and they rendered a verdict. And once the jury has spoken, that's how our system works. But I did want to just talk a little bit about context and how people have responded to it and how people are feeling.

You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. And when you think about why, in the African American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it’s important to recognize that the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away.

There are very few African American men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me. There are very few African American men who haven't had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me — at least before I …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at The White House Press Office

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 7/17/2013

By The White House

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

1:05 P.M. EDT

MR. CARNEY: Good afternoon, everyone. Thanks for being here. I apologize for the slight delay. I was just rereading, for the pure enjoyment the article above the fold in The New York Times today about projected decline in health care premiums. (Laughter.) Highly recommend it.

Before I take your questions, on Thursday the President will deliver remarks to discuss how the Affordable Care Act is holding insurance companies accountable and putting money back into the pockets of over 8.5 million Americans. We hear a lot about what the law might do or could do, but tomorrow the President will detail one concrete way that Americans who have health insurance today are affected by the law.

This summer 8.5 million consumers are receiving half a billion dollars in rebates. The average consumer rebate is around $100. This is just one of the many ways the Affordable Care Act is giving consumers a better value for their health care dollar and making our health care system stronger.

As I mentioned earlier, you may have seen this morning that New York State announced the health insurance plan rates for insurers seeking to offer coverage through New York’s health insurance marketplace. Not only will new insurers be entering the market to offer plans to consumers, the cost for even the most comprehensive plans will be down by over 50 percent, according to the state. This is despite the fact that New York’s health care costs are much higher than the national average.

But this is in line with what we’ve seen in other states, like California and Oregon. Competition and transparency in the marketplaces, plus the hard effort by those committed to making the law work, are leading to affordable, new, and better choices for families.

I noticed in that article that, for example, an individual whose premium this year is $1,000 might see his or her premium drop in New York next year to $308. There is a particular poignancy to this story today, because for the 38th, 39th, 40th time — I’ve lost count; I think they have, too — the House of Representatives will be voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act today.

In other words, they’ll be voting, through their measure to delay implementation of the individual mandate, to keep those rates at $1,000 for the individual in New York, rather than $308, to ensure that everyone out there who worries about whether they have or a family member has a preexisting condition, and whether or not they’ll get health insurance coverage, will continue to worry. That worry doesn’t exist now because of the Affordable Care Act, but if Republicans in the House had their way, Americans could worry again about that prospect.

So they go about the business, again, of trying to overturn a law that is providing enormous benefits, and as we’ve seen again, will provide even more benefits to the …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at The White House Press Office

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 7/16/2013

By The White House

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

12:58 P.M. EDT

MR. CARNEY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for being here, as ever, for your White House briefing. I do not have any announcements or discussions of my weekend for the top, and therefore, I will go straight to Julie Pace.

Q Thank you. Does the White House support this deal that's emerging in the Senate to move forward on some of the President’s nominees?

THE PRESIDENT: Let me say a couple things. One, any agreement that there might be between senators has yet to be formally announced, and so we will not get ahead of such an announcement if and when it comes.

We have worked very closely with Senator Reid and we have made clear our support for Senator Reid’s position in this because we share — the President shares his frustration over the obstructionism that we've seen from Republicans in the Senate when it comes to the confirmation of the President’s nominees. And we would be glad to see a resolution that results in the speedy confirmation of the President’s qualified nominees to these positions that have been at issue. And that includes Rich Cordray at CFPB; it includes Gina McCarthy at EPA and Tom Perez at Labor, and others.

So we won't have a full comment on an agreement that is yet to be announced, but we hope there is one. We simply hope that there’s a resolution that allows for the confirmation of the President’s nominees, which is why we supported all along Senator Reid in his approach to this matter.

Q Senator McCain, who has been quite involved in this process, says that he spoke with Vice President Biden and Denis McDonough over the past few days on this. Can you tell us what the White House’s role was in trying to break this impasse?

MR. CARNEY: The White House was not involved in negotiating. The White House provided information and answered questions when it came to working with Senate Republicans, including, of course, Senator McCain, who, again, as I understand it, based on what we've seen, deserves significant credit for his efforts in trying to find a resolution here — a resolution that allows for hopefully the speedy confirmation of the President’s nominees.

But this has been a — this solution that has been sought has been one that has been sought and negotiated by senators. And our position has been to communicate with and work with Senator Reid and other Democrats on this issue. But the negotiating between Democrats and Republicans has happened between senators.

Q Also, Edward Snowden has applied for temporary asylum in Russia. Has the White House reached out to the Russians since he filed his application? Is there any general comment on his taking this step?

MR. CARNEY: There are regular communications between the U.S. government and the Russian government on …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at The White House Press Office

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 7/12/2013

By The White House

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

1:10 P.M. EDT

MR. CARNEY: The Associated Press, start us off. I have no announcements. Welcome.

Q Edward Snowden has said he would like to have asylum in Russia, that he’s willing to agree to their demand that he not continue to release information to them. What is your message today to Russia about what the implications of granting that to him would be for their relations with the United States?

MR. CARNEY: Our position on Mr. Snowden and the felony charges against him, and our belief that he ought to be returned to the United States to face those felony charges is as it was. And we have communicated it to a variety of countries, including Russia. So it’s no different than it was. And I would simply say that providing a propaganda platform for Mr. Snowden runs counter to the Russian government’s previous declarations of Russia’s neutrality and that they have no control over his presence in the airport. It’s also incompatible with Russian assurances that they do not want Mr. Snowden to further damage U.S. interests.

But having said that, our position also remains that we don’t believe this should, and we don’t want it to do harm to our important relationship with Russia. And we continue to discuss with Russia our strongly held view that there is absolute legal justification for him to be expelled, for him to be returned to the United States to face the charges that have been brought against him for the unauthorized leaking of classified information.

Q Can you tell us a little bit about the President’s session today with the Attorney General? And has he accepted Eric Holder’s report on media relations and investigations?

MR. CARNEY: The President did meet with the Attorney General today in the Oval, and the Attorney General did discuss with him and present to him that report. I believe the Department of Justice will be releasing that report this afternoon, but I’d refer you to them.

Q So if they’re releasing it this afternoon, that indicates that the President did accept it as it was presented?

MR. CARNEY: Yes, I think that’s a fair assessment to make. We won’t have any statement or comment on it before it’s released, but I believe the Department of Justice is releasing it today.

Q And on Secretary Napolitano’s departure, do you have any information for us on who her replacement might be or any timeline for that decision?

MR. CARNEY: I have no names to float, if you will. I would say that the President greatly appreciates Secretary Napolitano’s four-plus years of service. And if you think about it, those four and a half years account for almost half the existence of the Department of Homeland Security. And she’s done a remarkable job. And on her watch there have …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at The White House Press Office

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 4/17/2013

By The White House

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

12:16 P.M. EDT

MR. CARNEY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for being here today. I know there are several matters that I'm sure you’ll be interested in discussing today, a couple of issues that are under investigation by the FBI — and I thought I would start with that and then take your questions.

As you saw from a statement from the FBI, as well as a statement from the United States Secret Service, there was a letter sent to, addressed to the President that at an offsite mail facility was noticed to have contained a suspicious substance in tests that were undertaken. The FBI has the lead in that investigation, of course, and has said in its statement that they will be conducting further tests to determine what the nature of the substance is.

Of course, there was another letter, as you know, sent — or detected by Capitol Police that was sent to a United States senator. That also has been — is a subject of the investigation by the FBI. And for more information about these matters I refer you to the FBI.

The President — I'm sure you’ll ask this — the President has, of course, been briefed on these letters. He was briefed last night and again this morning.

Secondly, there is obviously a lot of interest in the explosions in Boston, and I wanted to make clear, as you heard from the President yesterday, that our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and to their families who were injured — those who were injured as well as killed in this heinous and cowardly act. The full weight of the federal government is behind this investigation, which is being led by the FBI. And as the President said, we will find out who did this, we will find out why, and we will bring those responsible to justice.

That said, it is very important that we allow this investigation to run its full course and to ensure that we retain the integrity of that investigation. Therefore, on matters related to the investigation, I would direct you to the FBI. As you know, the FBI is giving the press briefings on the ground in Boston and I believe they will be holding another briefing today.

The President, as you know, has been briefed regularly on the incident in Boston, beginning almost immediately after it took place. This morning, the President again convened a meeting in the Oval Office with his national security team on the ongoing investigation. Participating in that briefing was the Attorney General, Eric Holder; the FBI Director, Robert Mueller; the President’s Chief of Staff, Denis McDonough; his National Security Advisor, Tom Donilon; his Homeland Security Advisor and Counterterrorism Advisor, Lisa Monaco; Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken; White House Counsel Kathy Ruemmler; Deputy Chief of Staff Alyssa Mastromonaco; Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes; and the Vice

From: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/04/17/press-briefing-press-secretary-jay-carney-4172013

President Obama: "The American People Refuse to be Terrorized"

By <a href="/author-detail/475">Colleen Curtis</a>

Following a briefing from FBI Director Mueller, Attorney General Holder, Secretary Napolitano, and homeland security advisor Lisa Monaco, President Obama went to the Brady Press Briefing Room to update Americans on developments in Boston, following two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon.

“We continue to mobilize and deploy all appropriate law enforcement resources to protect our citizens, and to investigate and to respond to this attack,” the President said in a televised address. “Obviously our first thoughts this morning are with the victims, their families, and the city of Boston. We know that two explosions gravely wounded dozens of Americans, and took the lives of others, including a 8-year-old boy.

“This was a heinous and cowardly act. And given what we now know about what took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism. Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terror. What we don’t yet know, however, is who carried out this attack, or why; whether it was planned and executed by a terrorist organization, foreign or domestic, or was the act of a malevolent individual.”

read more

From: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/04/16/president-obama-american-people-refuse-be-terrorized

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 4/12/2013

By The White House

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

12:25 P.M. EDT

MR. CARNEY: Welcome, everyone. Happy Friday. The thunderstorms of the morning have given way to sunny skies — and augurs a beautiful weekend, I hope.

Q Very poetic.

MR. CARNEY: Before I take your questions, I wanted to let you know that as we continue to debate common-sense measures to reduce gun violence and save lives, one thing that has been very clear is that nobody has a more important or powerful perspective on the issue than the families who have lost loved ones because of the scourge of gun violence.

As you know, the President has been in regular contact this week with the families of victims of the 12/14 shootings, and he believes their voices and resolve have been critical to the continued progress we’ve seen in the Senate.

With that in mind, the President has asked Francine Wheeler — who lost her 6-year-old son, Ben, on that terrible day — to speak to the American people in this week’s Weekly Address.

With that, I will take your questions.

Q Was this the first time someone other than the President has done it — not just this President — in history? Is that your understanding?

MR. CARNEY: I can’t speak for previous administrations. It is the case that in this administration, the Vice President delivered the Weekly Address when I was working for him, but I don’t know about past administrations.


Q Thank you, Jay. I wanted to ask about North Korea and developments that emerged after the briefing yesterday — reports that North Korea could have weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles, even though reports said the weapon itself might be unreliable. How much of a concern is this to the President? And given the unpredictable behavior by North Korea’s leader, even if weapons aren’t fully developed, is there a danger that this guy could actually act on something that’s not been tested?

MR. CARNEY: Well, first of all, I want to be clear that North Korea has not demonstrated the capability to deploy a nuclear-armed missile. The United States continues to closely monitor the North Korean nuclear program, and calls upon North Korea to honor its international obligations.

So I just want to be clear, out of — in response to your question, that it is our assessment that North Korea has not demonstrated the capability to deploy a nuclear-armed missile. To your broader question, we have responded to the series of provocative actions as well as the stepped-up bellicose rhetoric emanating from Pyongyang by taking a series of prudent measures to ensure that our homeland and our allies are defended. That includes steps to enhance our missile

From: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/04/12/press-briefing-press-secretary-jay-carney-4122013

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 4/9/2013

By The White House

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

11:52 A.M. EDT

MR. CARNEY: Welcome, everyone. Thanks for your patience. I have a couple of quick announcements. As you may have seen already, President Obama is announcing his intent to nominate three members of the National Labor Relations Board — Mark Gaston-Pearce to serve another term as member and to be designated chairman. And then, Harry I. Johnson, III and Philip Miscimarra both to be members of the NLRB.

These nominations — if all, including the two that we’ve nominated prior, are acted on by the Senate — would bring the NLRB up to full operating level, ensuring that it continues to function and fulfill its responsibilities to look after workers’ rights. This would be a bipartisan board. The two nominees, Harry Johnson and Philip Miscimarra, are Republican nominees and you would have a balanced, bipartisan board, and we urge the Senate to move on those nominations efficiently.

Separately, I’d also like to say that this afternoon the Senate will vote to confirm Judge Patty Shwartz to the Third Circuit. Judge Shwartz was reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 8, 2012, making her way to 397 days for what should be a bipartisan confirmation vote. After her expected confirmation, there will still be 14 other judicial nominees awaiting floor votes. Of these 14, 13 were approved by the Judiciary Committee unanimously, and five nominees would fill judicial emergencies. They have been waiting on the Senate floor for an average of 67 days for a vote. That’s nearly twice as long as President Bush’s judicial nominees. We urge the Senate to move on these nominees without further delay.


Q Thank you. North Korea is urging all foreigners to evacuate South Korea, saying that the two countries are on the verge of a nuclear war. Does the U.S. take this latest threat seriously in any way? Or do you think that this is just more bluster?

MR. CARNEY: North Korea’s statement advising foreigners to make plans to evacuate Seoul is more unhelpful rhetoric that serves only to escalate tensions. This kind of rhetoric will only further isolate North Korea from the international community and we continue to urge the North Korean leadership to heed President Obama’s call to choose the path of peace and to come into compliance with its international obligations. We have seen this kind of bellicose rhetoric, these kinds of provocative statements consistently — obviously, in recent days and weeks — but also as part of a pattern of behavior that we’ve seen over the years from the North Korean leadership.

The end result of this kind of behavior has only been to further isolate North Korea from the rest of the world and to do harm to the North Korean …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at The White House Press Office

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 4/8/2013

By The White House

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

1:07 P.M. EDT

MR. CARNEY: Welcome. Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Thanks for being here. I hate to startle to you with my relative punctuality — (laughter) — but I do have to — I have to leave at 1:45-ish, 1:50, so I want to go straight to your questions.


Q Five Americans were killed in Afghanistan over the weekend, including a 25-year-old diplomat. Did that incident or any of the other recent violence we’ve seen in Afghanistan color the President’s decision-making as he’s looking to settle on a post-2014 force?

MR. CARNEY: Well, first of all, our thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost their lives, both military personnel as well as civil personnel, as well as to those who were wounded. What is absolutely the case is Afghanistan remains a very violent place. It is also true that we have made great strides in our efforts to train up the Afghanistan National Security Forces as they take increasing responsibility for the security in their country, and that process continues.

So, broadly, in answer to your question, the answer is no, that no specific incident is affecting a decision-making process in a policy that the President is convinced is the correct one and that he is engaged in with his national security team and military commanders.

Q General Dempsey said that the U.S. should wait until the summer or perhaps even later to make the decision on the post-2014 force. Is that the timeline that the President is operating on — summer or perhaps later?

MR. CARNEY: I don’t have any preview to give you of that process except that the President is committed to it as in keeping with the stated policy objectives he’s made in the past, as well as our coordination with our allies. But I have nothing further for you on that.

Q And then, just quickly, this is sort of a big week on a lot of different fronts — guns, immigration, the budget. How does the White House view this week in terms of the President’s second-term agenda? Do you see it as a pivotal week for him?

MR. CARNEY: I wouldn’t distinguish this particular week from ones that have led to it or that will come after it except to say that we have a lot of work to do on behalf of the American people. The President set forth in his State of the Union address and in his inaugural address a vision and a policy agenda that demonstrates his commitment in his second term to continue to build on the progress we made in the first.

When it comes to jobs and economic growth, that remains …read more

Source: White House Press Office

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 4/5/2013

By The White House

1:26 P.M. EDT

MR. CARNEY: Before I take your questions, I just wanted to let you know about some events next week related to the President's push for common-sense measures to reduce gun violence.

As the Senate returns from the Easter recess to begin considering such measures, the President, the Vice President and the First Lady will hold events outside of Washington D.C. and at the White House to encourage Americans to make their voices heard in this important debate. As you know, the President will visit Hartford, Connecticut, where he will meet with families affected by the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and to give a speech reminding members of Congress that those who have been most affected by tragic gun violence deserve a vote on the measures currently being considered.

On Tuesday, the Vice President will hold an event with law enforcement officials here at the White House, echoing the President's call on Congress to pass common-sense gun legislation.

On Wednesday, the First Lady will visit her hometown of Chicago, where she will speak from her experience as a Chicagoan and a mother about the importance of providing young people with opportunities to achieve their full potential, including by allowing them to grow up in safe, violence-free communities.

And then on Thursday, Vice President Biden will appear on MSNBC's “Morning Joe” for a roundtable discussion with the show's hosts and experts with diverse opinions on the gun safety debate.

And with that, I will take your questions. Jim, Associated Press.

Q Budget question, and one other topic. The budget the President will propose incorporates what you have put up on the screen there, which is the President's offer to Speaker Boehner back in December. That offer was rejected by House Republicans, and I'm wondering what the President thinks has changed that would actually make this a viable proposal now, four months later, or even during the year, as that budget gets debated?

Q Well, I'll say a couple of things. One, it wasn't rejected by House Republicans. The Speaker of the House walked away from those negotiations, unfortunately. I think the offer the President made to Speaker of the House Boehner was widely viewed — appropriately — as a good-faith offer that met the Republicans halfway on the issues of revenue on the one hand, and entitlement reforms and savings from entitlement reforms on the other.

And as we have been saying all along, that offer stands. It has been available to Republicans ever since. And it is, I can confirm, a part of the President's budget proposal next week.

It is part of it because the President believes we need a broad, balanced approach to our fiscal challenges. We need a budget that reduces the deficit but also invests in infrastructure and education and innovation; that makes the investments that help the middle class grow; that protects middle-class …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at The White House Press Office

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 4/1/2013

By The White House

12:53 P.M. EDT
MR. CARNEY: Hello, everyone. It’s very good to see you. Thanks for taking care of Josh in my absence last week.
Before I take your questions, I want to say a couple of things. One, and perhaps most importantly, I apologize for keeping you here to miss the opening pitches of the Red Sox versus Yankees game and the Marlins at the Nationals here. I, for one, wish I were at the stadium, because it’s going to be a very exciting season I think for Nationals and Red Sox fans, of which I am one.
I’d also like to say something about the fact that this morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee announced its hearing for our D.C. Circuit Court nominee, Sri Srinivasan. As you know, Sri is the Principal Deputy Solicitor General, but you may not know that Sri was born in India and raised in Lawrence, Kansas, eventually becoming an all-star point guard at Lawrence High School. And, of course, he is still recovering today from the loss by his beloved Kansas Jayhawks over the weekend.
Sri is of course also a highly respected appellate advocate who has spent a distinguished career litigating before the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals, both in private practice and on behalf of the United States for both Democratic and Republican administrations. He has argued before the Supreme Court 24 times; drafted briefs and several dozen additional cases; and has also served as lead counsel in numerous cases before the federal and state appellate courts.
As a testament to how highly regarded he is by members of both parties, 12 former officials from the Solicitor General’s office — six of them Democrats, six of them Republicans — all announced their support for Sri today. The signatories of the letter, including Paul Clement, Ted Olson, Ken Starr, and Walter Dellinger, write, “Sri has a first-rate intellect, an open-minded approach to the law, a strong work ethic, and an unimpeachable character. Sri is one of the best appellate lawyers in the country.”
The D.C. Circuit, as you know, is often considered the nation’s second-highest court, but it has twice as many vacancies as any other court of appeals, and its workload has increased by over 20 percent since 2005. Sri’s confirmation will be an important first step to filling this court’s four vacancies, and he will be, when confirmed, the first South Asian circuit court judge in history.
We also urge the Senate to move swiftly to confirm the 15 additional judicial nominees waiting for votes. Of those 15, 13 were approved out of the Judiciary Committee unanimously; not a single Republican dissent. And four would fill judicial emergencies; six are represented by Republican home-state senators who support their nominations.
Now, as I mentioned, the last time I gave an update on our judicial nominees, we have seen …read more
Source: White House Press Office

Press Briefing by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest, 03/27/2013

By The White House

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

12:39 P.M. EDT

MR. EARNEST: Two quick announcements at the top before we go to your questions. They’re both scheduling announcements, actually. The first is, at 3:00 p.m. today the President will host a swearing-in ceremony for the new director of the United States Secret Service, Julia Pierson. That will be in the Oval Office, and we’ve arranged for a pool to be there to witness it. So that should be pretty good.

The second thing is about tomorrow. Tomorrow, the President will hold an event here at the White House where he will stand with mothers who want Congress to take action on common-sense measures to protect children from gun violence. The event will take place in the East Room. And in addition to the mothers on stage with the President, there will be law enforcement officials, victims of gun violence, and other stakeholders. So that will be tomorrow. I don’t know the exact time, but we’ll have more on that on the guidance tonight. So, yes, here in the East Room in the White House.

With that, Julie, I’ll let you get us started.

Q Thank you. Just a couple things on DOMA. Did the President get any update from the Solicitor General following the oral arguments today? And was there anyone from the White House who was there to witness the arguments, like yesterday?

MR. EARNEST: It is my understanding that the President has been kept apprised of the arguments made at the Supreme Court on these issues, both through reading the coverage of you and your colleagues but also based on briefings that he’s gotten from his legal staff here at the White House.

It’s also my understanding that the White House officials who attended yesterday are the White House officials also attended today. So that was Valerie Jarrett, Kathy Ruemmler, the Counsel of the White House, and Kathleen Hartnett, who’s an associate counsel here at the White House.

Q There seemed to be, in sort of the initial reading of the justices’ questions, a sense that they were also questioning the constitutionality of DOMA. Did the President, in the short period of time that’s passed since it was wrapped up, have any reaction to the proceedings today?

MR. EARNEST: I haven’t heard from him about his reaction to the proceedings today. I know that going into the proceedings that he had full confidence in his team at the Justice Department and others who were responsible for preparing the arguments, and had total confidence in the people who were prepared to walk in there and deliver them. But in terms of his reaction for how it played out, I didn’t get one.

Q We’re seeing a little bit more from the President, at least publicly this week, on immigration reform — the interviews today, the event on Monday. …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at The White House Press Office

Press Briefing by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest, 03/25/2013

By The White House

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

1:23 P.M. EDT

MR. EARNEST: Good afternoon, everybody. Or, shalom, to those of you who were on the trip with us last week. It’s nice to see you all. I don't see many people who were on the trip. Only a couple, actually. (Laughter.) There are a couple. It’s not an insult, it’s a compliment, in fact.

I don't think I have anything to do at the top today, so, Nedra, if you want to get it started.

Q Yes, that would be great. Can you give us an update on your view of what’s happening in Syria? Over the weekend you had the president of the Syrian National Coalition leave, and I wonder if the White House sees that as the opposition crumbling now in Syria.

MR. EARNEST: We certainly have seen these reports and we're sorry to see the news of Khatib’s resignation. Khatib is a courageous and pragmatic leader who has a strong sense of Syrians’ hopes and fears. The opposition has been well served by his leadership and the Syrian people will continue to benefit from his service in whatever capacity he chooses to provide it.

But it’s important to underscore that leadership transitions are inevitable in any democratic process, and Khatib’s announcement does not change the U.S. policy of support for the Syrian opposition and the Syrian Opposition Coalition. We support the coalition’s vision for a tolerant, inclusive Syria that respects the rights of all Syrians. And the opposition to Assad’s brutal rule is bigger than one person, and that movement will continue.

So it’s certainly — the efforts of the opposition in Syria will continue unabated. The United States will continue to support their efforts. As you know, Nedra, the U.S. is the largest bilateral donor of humanitarian assistance there. The President had the opportunity to talk to leaders in the region, including King Abdullah, who talked about the significant humanitarian strain that is being felt by the Syrian people and is starting to have an impact on other countries in the region. So this is something that we remain concerned about and committed to. And while we're certainly sorry to see the news of Khatib’s resignation, we're going to continue to work in the region to support the efforts of the rebels and to continue our steady drumbeat to urge Assad to step aside so that the Syrian people can have a government that reflects their will.

Q One of his complaints was that there was a lack of international support, so I wonder if there are any next steps that might come from the United States. Is there any examination of what more we could be doing or any thoughts that we could …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at The White House Press Office

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 3/19/2013

By The White House

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

11:17 A.M. EDT

MR. CARNEY: Top of the morning to everyone. I have to thank Cody Keenan, my fellow Irish American, for loaning me his tie. (Laughter.) Because I was a little thrown off — I had corned beef and cabbage on Sunday, and I forgot that today is the day that we are officially celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day here in Washington.

As you know, the President has a bilateral meeting with the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny of Ireland, a meeting with the Northern Ireland delegation. He is attending also the Friends of Ireland luncheon on Capitol Hill, and there is a Saint Patrick’s Day reception in the East Room later today.

I also want to note that, because of those remarks, we need to have a hard stop at 12:00 noon today.

With that, I’ll go to the Associated Press.

Q Thanks, Jay. There are reports out of Damascus by state-run media that rebels have mounted a chemical attack that killed 25 people. The Russian Foreign Ministry is backing up those claims, saying that there also — I'm wondering if — what the administration has on that report.

MR. CARNEY: Jim, as you know, we have been very clear about our concern that as the Assad regime is increasingly beleaguered and finds its escalation of violence through conventional means inadequate, including the barbaric use of Scud missiles against population centers, that it will consider the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people. This is a serious concern.

I am not going to discuss intelligence, but it is important that as fighting in Syria intensifies and the regime becomes more desperate, that the United States and the international community make absolutely clear to Assad that the use of chemical weapons would be totally unacceptable. The President was clear when he said that if Assad and those under his command make the mistake of using chemical weapons or fail to meet their obligations to secure them, then there will be consequences and they will be held accountable.

The international community is united on this issue and the message to the Assad regime has been very clear.

Q Does that mean that you have confirmation that there was indeed a chemical attack, no matter who it came from?

MR. CARNEY: We are looking carefully at the information as it comes in. I’m not going to discuss intelligence processes. All I can tell you is that this is an issue that has been made very clear by the President to be of great concern to us.

Q There were some initial reports that this may have been propaganda. You’re not saying that that is propaganda on the part of the Assad.

MR. CARNEY: Again, I can tell you that we’re looking carefully at allegations of CW use, chemical weapons use. We’re evaluating them, but I have no further assessment to provide …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at The White House Press Office

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 03/18/2013

By The White House

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

12:25 P.M. EDT

MR. CARNEY: Good afternoon. Thanks for being here. Welcome back from what I hope was a fabulous weekend. And I have no announcements to make at the top. I think you probably saw, if you did not attend, the President’s announcement that he made his nomination for Secretary of the Treasury. Beyond that, I got nothing. I’m sorry, Secretary of Labor. There is a Secretary of the Treasury. Thanks. It’s still Sunday.

Go ahead.

Q Thank you. What’s the U.S. take on this EU plan with Cyprus that would basically call on Cyprus’s government to raid the personal accounts of its citizens?

MR. CARNEY: Well, I would refer you to the Treasury Department. We’re obviously monitoring the situation right now. Our general proposition is that we believe it’s very important for Europe to take steps necessary, as they have been, to both grow and deal with sovereign debt issues. But as regards this particular situation, I’d refer you to Cyprus — beyond saying that we’re monitoring it — I mean, refer you to Treasury beyond saying that we’re monitoring it.

Q The markets, the global markets have obviously reacted negatively to this. Is there any concern, anything you would say to the American people about whether this might ricochet to the U.S. economy?

MR. CARNEY: Well, again, I’m not going to comment on markets. You might see if Treasury officials will comment on them. I would simply say that we have long said that a strong, stable Europe is in the interest of the United States, and that applies broadly to our approach to all of Europe and to all of the eurozone.

With regards to Cyprus, I would refer you to Treasury except to say that we’re monitoring the situation.

Q And then I’m wondering if the President had any reaction to Hillary Clinton’s announcement today that she publicly backs gay marriage now.

MR. CARNEY: Well, I can tell you that the President believes that any time a public official of stature steps forward to embrace a commitment that he shares to equality for LGBT Americans he thinks it’s a good thing. And I haven’t spoken with him about Secretary Clinton’s announcement, but I know that that’s what he feels in general when major figures in our society make their views known. And it’s testimony to how far this country and how quickly this country has traveled, as he has said.

Q Do you know if she gave the White House any heads-up that she would be making this announcement today?

MR. CARNEY: I’m not aware that she did. She is obviously a private citizen, and her views are in concert with the President’s, so I’m not aware that she gave any heads-up.

Reuters. Mr. Mason.

Q Thank you. Just to follow …read more
Source: White House Press Office

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 3/14/2013

By The White House

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

12:53 P.M. EDT

MR. CARNEY: Sparse crowd. Must be the weather. How is everyone today? Thanks for being here.

Before I take your questions, I would just like to note that earlier today the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to send the full Senate an important piece of legislation to help keep weapons of war off America’s streets. As you know, banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines is an important piece of the President’s plan to reduce gun violence.

We urge Congress to swiftly vote on and pass this legislation and other common-sense measures like requiring a background check for all gun purchases and cracking down on gun trafficking and straw purchasing. There’s been significant progress this week on these proposals, and the President welcomes that. We urge Congress to keep it up.

With that, Julie.

Q Thank you. On that topic, Senator Feinstein was asked whether she wanted to see more assistance from the President in trying to pass the assault weapons ban. What is he going to be doing now to try to get that passed? Is he going to be doing more, as Senator Feinstein asked for?

MR. CARNEY: Well, the President, as you know, in the wake of Newtown, asked the Vice President to head up an effort to pull together a comprehensive plan for reducing gun violence in America, and that work was done very quickly and the result was the proposal that the President and the Vice President announced, which has many elements — some of it legislative, some of it executive actions. And we are moving forward on all of it. And we are working with Congress on the legislative aspects of this — the President is directly — and we are obviously moving forward on the executive actions.

I think the question is a great opportunity to remind everyone that in his conversations with lawmakers, including those with Republicans, the President has been raising a number of issues, not just the need to reduce our deficit in a balanced way and not just raising the question of whether or not we can find common ground in pursuit of that, but also whether we can continue to work on the bipartisan progress that we've seen on comprehensive immigration reform and on measures to reduce gun violence.

So the engagement that we've all been talking about and you’ve been writing about encompasses not just budget issues but precisely these issues. So that is some of the assistance the President is providing directly, and he will continue to do that.

Q A lot of the concern among gun control advocates when it comes to the assault weapons ban is not just that Republicans are going to vote against it, but that Democrats who are in conservative-leaning districts or senators from more conservative states are going to vote against it. So does the …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at The White House Press Office

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 03/13/2013

By The White House

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

12:47 P.M. EDT

MR. CARNEY: Welcome to the White House. Sorry I'm late. Had some meetings that ran long. I do have something I want to say at the top.

I wanted to provide a quick update on the ongoing engagement with the business community and the President, First Lady, and senior members of the President’s team on a broad range of issues including the President’s economic agenda, immigration reform, cybersecurity, and issues important to our veterans and military families, to name a few.

As you know, the President today will be dropping by two separate meetings with business leaders this afternoon. The President will be attending a meeting with business leaders to discuss cybersecurity as a part of the administration’s ongoing dialogue with the private sector regarding this issue. Attendees include David Cote from Honeywell International, Wes Bush from Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Randall Stephenson from AT&T. A full list of attendees will be provided later this afternoon.

After that, he will attend a meeting with business leaders where he will discuss our efforts on immigration reform and its role in our broader economic agenda. Attendees of that meeting include Greg Brown from Motorola Solutions, Douglas Oberhelman from Caterpillar, and Virginia Rometty from IBM Corporation. Again, a full list of the participants in that meeting will be provided afterwards.

Finally, as part of the Joining Forces initiative, the First Lady delivered remarks earlier today at the quarterly meeting of member CEOs of the Business Roundtable, where she continued her call on the private sector to hire America’s veterans and military spouses, and she also called on them to help reach their full potential within America’s companies. Mrs. Obama made the case that it has never been more important to join together and help our veterans and military spouses find employment and to build their careers, especially with more than 1 million veterans who will be hanging up their uniforms and transitioning back to civilian life in the coming years.

Also this morning, senior staff, including Valerie Jarrett, Denis McDonough, Rob Nabors, met with members of the Business Roundtable executive committee to address a broad array of issues on the President’s agenda. And Treasury Secretary Jack Lew held a meeting yesterday with business leaders to discuss the President’s economic agenda, including Jim McNerney from Boeing, and Fred Smith from FedEx. I'd refer you to Treasury for the full list of attendees.

I do have one final note for the young among you in spirit or fact, and that is that Gene Sperling will be participating in an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. (Laughter.) I think you should check it out. You will not regret it.

Q Awww.

MR. CARNEY: I'll take your questions now. Ask me anything. (Laughter.)

Q It sounds like yesterday the President was pushed during his meeting with Senate Democrats …read more
Source: White House Press Office