The White House is getting a tad bit sensitive about whether it would accept anything less than Congressional passage of the President’s full job package.
It may be just for rhetorical strategy because there’s no way Congress would accept the entire jobs bill lock, stock and barrel. Majority Leader Eric Cantor has already said he would jettison nearly all of the spending provisions. Still, Tuesday afternoon the White House took the unusual step of officially clarifying previous remarks its own spokesman made during a briefing.
A senior administration official, according to pool report, came back to the press cabin while Air Force One was taking off and pointedly countered any notion that the President is willing to settle for piece-by-piece consideration of his jobs plan.
“We’re going to take this to them every day,” said the senior administration official, “and challenge them to pass the whole bill.”`
Earlier that day, White House spokesman Jay Carney quite rationally conceded that Obama would be forced to accept a piecemeal approach to his jobs plan if House Republicans continue to refuse to vote for the entire package.
“If Congress were to send a portion of the American Jobs Act, the President would of course not veto it. He would sign it,” Carney said. “Then he would return to press Congress to get the rest of the job done.”
Although logical, the message must have ruffled some feathers over at Obama campaign headquarters. Earlier Tuesday, Obama’s senior campaign adviser David Axelrod told ABC’s Good Morning America that they’re still pushing Congress to accept the entire package as a whole.
“We’re not in a negotiation to break up the package,” he said. “It’s not an a la carte menu.”