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Carney: "Congress Racks Up The Bills And Congress Must Pay The Bills"

ALEXIS SIMENDINGER, REALCLEARPOLITICS: And a quick follow-up on Major’s question about the process towards sequestration. For those who think that the President maybe learned from the process he just went through on the fiscal cliff that he will not be dealing with Speaker Boehner, does the President -- can you just clarify, does he fully intend to have continuing conversations directly with the Speaker, to negotiate with him directly?

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, the President believes that as part of our system of government the executive branch engages with and negotiates with the legislative branch, and that will continue -- on a range of issues, not just economic and fiscal matters. And the President, as he said, is very open to compromise on a range of issues when it comes to addressing our fiscal challenges and putting in place policies that help our economy grow and continue to create jobs. He will not negotiate over Congress’s responsibility to pay the bills that Congress has incurred.

As you know as a veteran reporter here in Washington, a President cannot by himself or herself spend a single dollar. Congress passes the laws. Congress appropriates the funds. Congress racks up the bills and Congress must pay the bills. And it is simply inappropriate and extremely dangerous to suggest that in the name of a political agenda we would default, for example, on our obligations to pay our bills. That is Congress’s responsibility and the President will not negotiate with Congress over Congress’s responsibility to pay its bills.

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