Carney: White House Has ‘No Opinion’ on Whether the Senate Should Pass a Budget

February 9, 2012 - 4:25 PM

Jay Carney

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. (AP Photo/File)

(CNSNews.com) – The White House has “no opinion” on whether the Senate should pass a budget, White House press secretary Jay Carney told a press briefing Wednesday.

ABC News’ Jake Tapper asked Carney whether President Obama agreed with comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at a hearing Tuesday to the effect that the Senate’s failure to pass a budget creates uncertainty for business firms; or with a recent assertion by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that the Senate does not need to bring a budget to the floor this year.

“The White House has no opinion on Chairman Bernanke’s assessment of how the Senate ought to do its business,” Carney replied.

“What the president believes is important is that the Budget Control Act that was signed into law by him last year provides the top line spending caps for the coming budget, and he will obviously meet those in the budget proposal he puts forward,” he continued.

At the Senate Budget Committee hearing, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) raised the budget issue and asked Bernanke “how harmful that is in terms of economic growth.”

Bernanke replied, “Well senator, I’m not going to comment on parliamentary maneuverings but Senator Wyden [D-Ore.] made exactly the same question – you know, is uncertainty about the future of the tax code, government programs and so on a negative for growth?”

“I think it is, because firms like to have certainty, like to be able to plan,” he continued. “And again I would take on the same responsibility as a regulator, that we need to make regulations as clear and as effective as possible.”

The last time the Senate passed a budget was on April 29, 2009.

Referencing the last debt-ceiling deal last week, Reid said, “We do not need to bring budget to the floor this year. It’s done, we don’t need to do it.”

As CNSNews.com reported earlier, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, “The fact is, you don’t need a budget. We can adopt appropriations bills. We can adopt authorization policies without a budget. We already have an agreed-upon cap on spending.”