Subject: Pool 2 gaggle
Air Force One landed in Philadelphia shortly after 11 am. Potus stepped off a few minutes later. On helos to site.
Josh Earnest gaggled through the landing. Here are the highlights but please check quotes against the transcript:
Potus today “will ask Republicans to vote on something rare in Washington these days — a policy that has strong bipartisan support.”
Why ask for double the $800 b marker: Earnest said the marker potus has presented time and again is $1.6 trillion … This is the way we can ask the wealthiest to pay more of the burden … “This is the approach that garnered the president a lot of support in the election” … That also means Republicans are far from where the American people are, he said
Asked if president is wedded to that $1.6 T number: “I’m not going negotiate it from here. He will make clear any deal will require higher tax rates.”
Will WH release a copy of the plan Geithner proposed? “We’ll talk about it. There was nothing included in those discussions that would surprise you. …. I was surprised they (GOP) were surprised. … There is no reason for anybody to be surprised.”
Entitlements details? Earnest said he was not getting to get into details, but said the proposal included $100 billion in savings from medicare prescriptions drug purchases, and asking wealthy seniors to pay more.
UN vote on Palestine observer status: The US opposition was based on the belief that the conflict between Israel and Palestine will be resolved “only through face to face negotiations not unilateral actions.”
Why ask for permanent debt limit authority: “The roiling wrenching debt limit process was not in best interests” of the country and economy. But a workable mechanism came out of it that allows the government to deal with the debt limit, he said.
On UN vote: no plans to withdraw aid to PA … No other conseqauences that he can talk about now are under consideration … Solution will only come through face to face talks …
Repeat of past statements on Egypt
Sen Bob Casey and Rep. Allyson Schwartz are on board
Carrie Budoff Brown