WHITE HOUSE HOLDS CONFERENCE CALL WITH MEDIA ABOUT SEQUESTRATION (embargoed until 8pm)

White House

I received the below email from my FNC colleague Constance McDonough.  Note that I received the email about 1pm today but the White House embargoed the contents until 8pm tonight)

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Subject: EMBARGOED 8:00PM TONIGHT: WH ADMIN CONF CALL ON SEQUESTRATION

 

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Sunday, February 24, at 12:00PM ET, Senior Administration Officials will hold an on-the-record conference call to discuss the devastating impact that the sequester will have on jobs and middle class families across the country if Congressional Republicans fail to compromise to avert the sequester by March 1st.

 

The call will be on the record and EMBARGOED until 8:00PM ET Sunday.

The call will be on the record and EMBARGOED until 8:00PM ET Sunday.

The call will be on the record and EMBARGOED until 8:00PM ET Sunday.

 

 

WHO: Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer

Principal Deputy Director of the NEC Jason Furman

Controller, Office of Management and Budget, Danny Werfel

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS:

 

JASON FURMAN: 12:11:05 just want to talk a little about consequences. number one. cost jobs across the country. jobs private sector.. people directly affected job losses elsewhere. 12:11:39 reports that you’ll all have shortly, illustrate have consequences for all 50 states and district of Columbia, for examples, in education, in OH alone, 350 teachers and aid jobs at risk. 34,000 fewer students would be served and 100 schools less funding.

 

JASON FURMAN: 12:21:39 there are substantial specifics, last budget, green book. able to find about 200 pages of specifics. in particular, largest in terms of dollar proposal. tax benefits for high income households. 600 billion dollars. amt of money in potus last offer to Boehner. goes in detail of tax benefits of oil and gas companies, potus would look to see close corporate jets and whole range of other things. Reid legislation, delay sequester, buffet rule, tax incentives for shipping production overseas.

 

DANNY PFEIFFER: 12:23:40 the state by state info being provided does have some breakdowns on how DOD furloughs will be impacted. there is a significant impact in national cap region. but i think as deputy decy carter when testified, a lot of their employees that are impacted are not commuting to pentagon, ship builders, maintenance that are doing things that are directly supported. mission critical work. fed employees impact. in geography in terms of type of employee impacted. this is one of many impacts. the number of individuals furloughed is significant.

 

DANNY PFEIFFER: 12:35:23 look, it’s potus responsibility make sure Americans understand what is at stake. this is going to have real impact on livs and communities. are all going to go into effect on day 1? no. Americans lose jobs because of republican decision. going to be disruptive to lives. community. loss of job is as catastrophic to family. one spectrum. another spectrum is lines at airports. i understand why Americans would think things are going to happen. reps push us to brink and in end give in. hope to avoid but there seems to be nothing that reps that by Friday they are going to change position.

 

 

 

LOG:

 

BRUNDAGE:

12:07:03 thanks for joining. talk little about sequester.

12:07:36 call is on the record. reports embargoed for 8pm ET tonight

 

DAN:

12:07:48 thanks for joining us. give update. week away from these cuts beginning to go into effect. potus believe s should deal with in long term as deficit reduction, tax reform that generates revenue, entitlement reform. put out again details of last on Boehner, deal with sequester. 12:08:28 offer remains on table. short term, pay down deficit. allow congress to allow long term solution. senate has bill on floor.. majority support in senate.

12:08:57 filibuster block, go to house reps. house not acted to resolve in this congress. in last congress, bill expired. legit questions on whether bill could pass

12:09:26 important to understand because reps choosing to let it go into effect. leverage. use to extract greater Medicare. McConnell said should go into effect. They’ve made choice. not asking any way of the highway approach, can resole not by raising tax. Boehner 2 mos ago, clean out tax code, pay down deficit.

12:10:12 we.. that’s what we’re looking for. find that approach, proposal that would do that.

“12:10:25 this could be resolved. dems in house and sen trying to resolve. obama trying to resolve it. reps are making policy choice.

12:10:41 ******* HAD TO PAUSE******

 

JASON:

12:11:05 just want to talk a little about consequences. number one. cost jobs across the country. jobs private sector.. people directly affected job losses elsewhere.

12:11:39 reports that you’ll all have shortly, illustrate have consequences for all 50 states and district of Columbia, for examples, in education, in OH alone, 350 teachers and aid jobs at risk. 34,000 fewer students would be served and 100 schools less funding.

12:12:20 military readiness, shifts at Norfolk, Dalgren.. when looking at public health, 4,180 children will receive vaccines. when you look at other services in KY have fewer victims in domestic violence.

12:12:59 obviously small sample of consequences across country

12:13:16 must better course economically, balanced approach that president laid out. speaker said he was willing to do at end of last year.

12:13:35 approach bring deficit down. it would have more meaning full long term entitlement. healthcare, tax reform. get rid of loopholes. bring down deficit. more competitive tax code as well

12:14:06 not something that can be done in next 5 days. pushing balanced approach. much more meaningful economic policy. than sequester

 

QUESTIONS:

 

NY TIMES: 12:15:02 want to ask, attention on history, do you think WH made fundamental miscalculation over importance reps would hold on defense. 12:15:24 what is defensive accomplishing

JONATHAN

12:15:33 no i don’t believe that. Don’t even have to believe me. listen to what reps said two months ago. reps wrapped up miles campaigning. how horrible it would be to defense. few people have credibility. very vocal about how terrible it will be. I think if you if leadership would get out of way lots of REPS open to balanced compromised approach to this.

 

JACKSON WITH URBAN RECORD: 12:16:41 thanks for call, specifically on disaster aid, Superstorm sandy.. what would impact be in coming calendar year, clogged back ?

12:17:14 what you will see is systematic reductions in all of the sandy relief that were funded. spread across variety depending on when money pay out, those funds will be cut, not question of crawl back.. sandy relief activities. intended by congress because of sequester

PERCENTAGE ON HOW MUCH LESS?

12:18:08 don’t have specific number but going to be like what we’re seeing with sequester. if its discretionary program, 9% cut over 7 mos period

 

MORNING CALL: 12:18:40 thanks for having call, what Potus wants to do is balance, isn’t this what got us in place? anything changed?

DAN: 12:19:06 well a lot changed. American people sent message in last election that they believe strongly in a deficit reduction. isn’t a close call. republican voters believe that should have mix of tax revenues. second thing in December, broke 20 yr opposition as being part of any deficit reduction.

12:19:51 reps believe Harkin back to those days now. argument is always do not want to raise rates, want to eliminate loophole.

12:20:18 fact of the matter is, ramming should be readily.. very open to tax reform. Doesn’t raise rates. right there on the table. should be easy thing for reps to do. undermining own long term policy goals.

12:20:57 reasons for being. four more entitlements. hurting economy, military, because they don’t want to give potus win of adopting Boehner’s own plan. looking glass moment

 

CONN. MIRRIOR: Loopholes and deductions, potus never laid out specifics on this

12:21:39 JASON: there are substantial specifics, last budget, green book. able to find about 200 pages of specifics. in particular, largest in terms of dollar proposal. tax benefits for high income households. 600 billion dollars. amt of money in potus last offer to Boehner. goes in detail of tax benefits of oil and gas companies, potus would look to see close corporate jets and whole range of other things. Reid legislation, delay sequester, buffet rule, tax incentives for shipping production overseas.

 

FED NEWS RADIO: Fed employees, said this will have impact on fed employees, by state, county, or district, top 5 fed areas impacted.. civilian.

DANNY: 12:23:40 the state by state info being provided does have some breakdowns on how DOD furloughs will be impacted. there is a significant impact in national cap region. but i think as deputy decy carter when testified, a lot of their employees that are impacted are not commuting to pentagon, ship builders, maintenance that are doing things that are directly supported. mission critical work. fed employees impact. in geography in terms of type of employee impacted. this is one of many impacts. the number of individuals furloughed is significant.

FROM CIVILIAN IMPACT?

DANNY: 12:25:17 that’s a good question, over time as we approach Friday, will become more avail. working with agencies actively, defense dept has at this point in time. put on hold for you. we know now that 47,000 in FAA will be furloughed. continuing to work on..

 

COX MEDIA: 12:26:02 long term solution, potus or Reid asked for more time? delayed until April may June?

12:26:19 well that’s the point of the bill that reid put forward. get additional time. pays down deficit. reps have proposed. preferable to close loopholes to benefit wealthy

 

POLITICO: 12:26:57 now week away, lot over past week back and forth with reps and congress..whose to blame for sequestration.. blame game.. not be seen as responsible.. how likely do you feel solution is?

DAN: 12:27:33 debate about who started it, sort of misses the point, entire rep defense for trying not to put cuts in place is saying this is presidents idea. Let’s give it context. in 2011 reps took unprecedented step, as hostage to try to force major cuts to fed spending Medicare, social security. worked with reps to try to resolve crisis. first approach was to try to get balanced. Boehner walked away. we went through array of different options to prevent default.

12:28:55 idea that came from sens graham Rudman and hollins.. now reps accepted that idea. voted for idea and trumpeted. Boehner got 98% of what he wanted. that is how it all happened. does it matter? not much. can ask house reps why they think it’s important debate. It’s fairly stupid one. decided sequester go into effect. better for Americans, wait longer lines in airports. better for kids to get kicked out of head start rather than close loopholes. potus is eternal optimist. hope reps will listen to American ppl. come to compromise. dems of house and sen are willing to compromise. some revenue and some cuts. all cuts, want sequestration to go into effect.

12:30:42 they will change their mind. its important to understand that sequestration goes into effect on mar 1. worth knowing that uncertainty is hurting economy. it is already keeping businesses investing and families making decisions. each day more impact. that is choice reps are making.

 

REUTERS: 12:31:32 Danny, when you spoke before Sen .appropriations committee mentioned you would take every step possible.. reprogramming authority. what kind of steps can expect to be take.. wait this week?

12:32:07 Every agency is working sequester implementation plan .as we’ve gone over, constraints on what agency can do. because of way law is made.. what we told agencies is in making decisions in whether to furlough employee, trying to decide what to protect and not protect.. articulated principles..best serve mission. heard secy LaHood talk about working at FAA to maker sure security not impacted. delays and frustrations. working as hard as can. every agency as we move into end of week, approach point if seq is triggered, more clarity on operating plans. looking at what flex and OMB has guidance to agencies.. reprogramming to see if can move money. mission. conclusion over and ovr again. reflex isnt enough to protect mission. time and again all of these disruptions and impacts will occur. 12:34:29 working with what we have. isnt sufficient . 7 mos period. no road map of flex that allows you to eliminate disruptions.

 

DETROIT FREE PRESS: 12:35:06 lots of readers respond to cuts as fear mongering, small cut

DAN: 12:35:23 look, its potus responsibility make sure Americans understand what is at stake. this is going to have real impact on livs and communities. are all going to go into effect on day 1? no. Americans lose jobs because of republican decision. going to be disruptive to lives. community. loss of job is as catastrophic to family. one spectrum. another spectrum is lines at airports. i understand why Americans would think things are going to happen. reps push us to brink and in end give in. hope to avoid but there seems to be nothing that reps that by Friday they are going to change position.

 

WASH POST: 12:37:12 is there anything else in tool kit that can be used.. reps that you think are most unmovable.. more personal.”

12:37:37 already starting to see uncomfortable with party. suspicion is that with house dems pretty close to majority of ppl with balanced solution. rep position is that the wealthy should never pay to reduce deficit. should be middle class and seniors. 12:38:17 maybe opinions will change. hope for reps to make difference choice for country

 

CONTENTS OF CALL EMBARGOES UNTIL 8PM ET AND CALL ON RECORD.

 

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