WASHINGTON, Oct 16 (Reuters) - President Barack Obamaquickly endorsed a Senate deal aimed at averting a U.S. debtdefault and ending a government shutdown on Wednesday and wantsCongress to approve it swiftly, the White House said.
Spokesman Jay Carney, briefing reporters on Obama's reactionto the bipartisan Senate deal that emerged on Capitol Hill, saidthe agreement will reopen the government and remove the threatof a debt default.
He said the United States is close to the point where theTreasury Department cannot borrow money to meet its debtobligations, which is why Congress needs to move fast.
While a wave of relief swept the White House at the prospectof an end to a 16-day government shutdown and the avoidance of adebt default, there was still a degree of uncertainty as to whatwould happen to the Senate legislation in theRepublican-controlled House of Representatives, where a factionof conservatives has been in no mood to compromise.
"We are not putting odds on anything," Carney said whenasked about prospects for House passage.
Carney was also reluctant to be seen declaring victory onbehalf of Obama.
"There are no winners here," he said. "There is already aprice that has been paid."
Looking ahead to the budget negotiations that the Senatedeal requires, more partisan battles appear to be in the offing.
Carney said Obama would insist that "everything has to be onthe table" as part of these negotiations, meaning the presidentwould want new revenue generated from a budget deal, whichRepublicans have opposed.
Once the deal is approved, Obama wants to focus on gainingpassage of a stalled overhaul of U.S. immigration laws. TheSenate in June approved an immigration agreement but it has notadvanced in the House.
- Politics & Government
- Barack Obama
- Jay Carney
- government shutdown
- White House