Jay Carney: No Bill Can Lower Gas Prices

Posted March 19, 2012 at 1:54pm

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today dismissed the prospect of a quick fix to gas prices as “baloney,” defending President Barack Obama’s strategy as one aimed at dealing with the problem in the long term.

Carney was pressed repeatedly over the lack of an administration energy bill to deal with the problem.

“There is not a bill that will lower gas prices at the pump,” Carney said at his daily briefing. “‘Drill, drill, drill’ will not get you anywhere,” he said.

Carney said Congressional help is needed to continue the president’s “all of the above” approach, which he said would continually reduce reliance on oil imports.

Also regarding transportation, Carney read a statement from Obama calling on the House to act on a bipartisan transportation bill after the Senate passed its bill last week.

Carney stopped short of saying the House should pass the Senate’s bill, saying he wanted to keep out of the particulars.

He also took aim at the impending release of the House GOP budget, which is expected to break last summer’s debt ceiling deal that yielded legislation setting the next fiscal year’s discretionary spending caps.

Violating the agreement “has to raise questions about keeping your word,” Carney said. Carney also criticized Republicans for talking about “blowing up the sequester” on automatic defense cuts that are set to begin taking effect in January.

Carney also said that while the White House would wait to see the specifics, the nation doesn’t need to continue tax cuts for the wealthy or oil companies, or “basically ending Medicare as we know it.”

“We’ll see what the specifics are when it comes out, but if the past is prologue, it’s not very promising,” he said.

Carney also dismissed questions about the lack of White House fanfare marking the two-year anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

“We are focused on implementing the bill, not on, you know, discussing anniversaries,” he said.

He said poor poll ratings for the bill represent hundreds of millions of dollars spent to attack the law and said polls also show opposition to the alternative of allowing insurance companies to block people with preconditions or kicking people off if they get sick.

“The president’s going to continue to focus on the economy, on jobs, on energy policy and let others have that debate if they want to have it,” Carney said.