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June 7 White House Press Gaggle

By The White House, The White House - June 7, 2012

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The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Aboard Air Force One En Route Las Vegas, Nevada

11:38 A.M. PDT

MR. CARNEY: Welcome aboard Air Force One, as we make our way from sunny Los Angeles to sunnier Las Vegas. I understand it will be quite warm in Las Vegas.

As you know the President will be speaking today at UNLV about the absolute importance of Congress taking action to prevent interest rates on student loans from doubling in just a few short weeks. Congress needs to act. There have been some positive signs that Republicans agree with the President that we need to get this done so that more than 7 million students don't have the rude surprise of seeing the rates on their loans double. But the work is not yet done and it needs to be completed.

He will go beyond that to talk about the broader array of proposals that he has put before Congress that Congress should act on, and if it were to act on them, it would have the intended positive effect on the economy on both growth and job creation that outside economists have said they would.

These include elements of the American Jobs Act, which have been sitting on the desks of leaders in Congress for many months now, since September -- elements that were not passed, that were opposed by Republicans, unfortunately, that would put many tens of thousands of teachers back to work, many tens of thousands of construction workers, teachers, first responders and others -- hundreds of thousands -- so elements of the American Jobs Act that taken together, outside economists said at the time and the same holds true today, would put more than a million people to work. Congress should take that action now.

So you will hear from the President about that in Las Vegas. With that I will take your questions.

Q Jay, I know that you put out a statement on Syria earlier today in which you talk about how the continued defiance to the Annan plan by the Syrian regime has no justification. But I guess the question for the U.S. now is what is the U.S. and the international community’s justification for continuing with the Annan plan?

MR. CARNEY: The justification for it?

Q Yes. I know the monitors is a big part of that, but the monitors now are having trouble getting where they need to go as well.

MR. CARNEY: Right. Well, there is no question, as we have acknowledged, that the Assad regime is failing to live up to its obligations under the Annan plan, and that fact and its brutal, persistent attacks on its own people -- including the outrageous targeted killings of civilians, including women and children, in Hama Province report just recently -- make clear to the entire world and to the nations of the world that the Assad regime is illegitimate and needs to go.

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