Carney On Flight Delays: "We Made It Clear There Would Be These Kinds Of Negative Effects"


WENDELL GOLER, FOX NEWS: Yesterday’s FAA furloughs produced the predicted flight delays. Senator McConnell said today, “As a result of the administration’s poor planning and political motives people were stuck on tarmacs.” What’s your response to that?

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE: I find it fascinating that Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republican Party in the Senate, is decrying the sequester that he decried in the past and then supported. This is a result of the sequester being implemented. We made it clear that there would be these kinds of negative effects if Congress failed to take reasonable action to avert the sequester -- policy that everyone who was involved in writing it knew at the time and has made clear ever since was never designed to be implemented. It was designed to be bad policy and, therefore, to be avoided.

The fact is Congress had an opportunity, but Republicans made a choice. And this is a result of a choice they made to embrace the sequester as -- and I'm quoting Republicans -- “a victory for the tea party” and “a homerun.” I'm not sure if leaders in the Republican Party and that Congress agree with those assessments now, because they've obviously changed their position on the sequester a variety of times over the last several months.

The sequester never should have become policy. The President has put forward a comprehensive, balanced approach to deficit reduction that would eliminate the sequester. But this is Congress's responsibility. It needs to take action.

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