White House defends lack of concrete debt plan

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney lashed out at criticism Tuesday that President Obama failed to outline a specific plan for raising the nation's debt ceiling in his prime-time address to the nation.

“When you put forward a position … it becomes charged politically,” Carney said, adding that it was a “fallacy that we have not put forth detailed proposals.”

Had Obama outlined a specific proposal, Carney said, Republicans would have immediately shot it down.

Instead of using the national speech to push for a specific blueprint, Obama rejected a short-term fix proposed by House Speaker John Boehner, R- Ohio, calling a plan by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., the better of the two options.

Reid's effort would slash $2.7 trillion in spending in exchange for raising the debt ceiling through 2012.

“At some point, we have to go with the best possible option,” Carney said during Tuesday's briefing.

However, the Reid plan does not have enough support to overcome a filibuster in the Senate. And Senate Democrats have vowed to block Boehner's initiative, creating an impasse just one week before the Aug. 2 deadline to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.

 

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