The PJ Tatler

The White House Has 'No Opinion' Whether the Senate Should Pass a Budget

Yet it has a very strong opinion on whether Catholic charities should use their budgets to pay for things that violate their beliefs.

CARNEY: Well, I think the president, as you noted, will be presenting his budget. That budget, it’s important to remember – and you all covered it — has spending caps set based on the Budget Control Act that was signed into law by this president last August. That spending — those spending — that spending — those spending levels represent significant cuts agreed to by Democrats and Republicans and by this president.

And his budget will reflect the need for that — will reflect those cuts, but also reflect the priorities that he thinks are very important, and, I think, the priorities that — to wrap in part of your question here — that Senator Reid believes are important as well, as do many members of the Senate and the House.

TAPPER: So therefore, the Senate should pass a budget as well.

CARNEY: I don’t have a –

TAPPER: I’m asking.

CARNEY: Well, I don’t have an opinion to express on how the Senate does its business with regards to this issue. The fact is because of the negotiations over the debt ceiling that resulted in the Budget Control Act, we have an unusual situation here in that the top lines for the budget going forward have already been set and agreed to by Republicans and Democrats alike.

TAPPER: So the — I’m not actually asking your opinion, but the White House’s opinion, because it’s the White House’s –

CARNEY: Well, I mean, I don’t have a –

TAPPER: The White House has no opinion about whether or not the Senate should pass a budget? The president’s going to introduce one. The Fed chair says not having one is bad for growth. But the White House has no opinion about whether –

CARNEY: I have no opinion — the White House has no opinion on Chairman Bernanke’s assessment of how the Senate ought to do its business.

What the president believes is important is that the Budget Control Act that was signed into law by him last year provides the top line spending caps for the coming budget, and he will obviously meet those in the budget proposal he puts forward. And he looks forward to the Senate acting on the policy initiatives contained within his budget that will reflect the priorities he laid out in the State of the Union and also will reflect the priorities he laid out when he put forward his deficit and debt reduction proposal back in September.

So I don’t — I don’t think there is any — there will be nor is there now any doubt about the president’s view on where we ought to move with the budget.