WASHINGTON Oct 16 President Barack Obama
quickly endorsed a Senate deal aimed at averting a U.S. debt
default and ending a government shutdown on Wednesday and wants
Congress to approve it swiftly, the White House said.
Spokesman Jay Carney, briefing reporters on Obama's reaction
to the bipartisan Senate deal that emerged on Capitol Hill, said
the agreement will reopen the government and remove the threat
of a debt default.
He said the United States is close to the point where the
Treasury Department cannot borrow money to meet its debt
obligations, which is why Congress needs to move fast.
While a wave of relief swept the White House at the prospect
of an end to a 16-day government shutdown and the avoidance of a
debt default, there was still a degree of uncertainty as to what
would happen to the Senate legislation in the
Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where a faction
of conservatives has been in no mood to compromise.
"We are not putting odds on anything," Carney said when
asked about prospects for House passage.
Carney was also reluctant to be seen declaring victory on
behalf of Obama.
"There are no winners here," he said. "There is already a
price that has been paid."
Looking ahead to the budget negotiations that the Senate
deal requires, more partisan battles appear to be in the offing.
Carney said Obama would insist that "everything has to be on
the table" as part of these negotiations, meaning the president
would want new revenue generated from a budget deal, which
Republicans have opposed.
Once the deal is approved, Obama wants to focus on gaining
passage of a stalled overhaul of U.S. immigration laws. The
Senate in June approved an immigration agreement but it has not
advanced in the House.