WASHINGTON (MNI) – The following is a statement issued by
the White House Monday afternoon:

Statement by the Press Secretary

The President has been advocating a balanced plan that would reduce
our deficit by $4 trillion by making large cuts in domestic and Pentagon
spending, reforming entitlement programs, and closing tax loopholes for
corporations, millionaires and billionaires. This sort of approach won
support from Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, but the House
Republicans walked away after insisting that the budget be balanced on
the backs of seniors and the middle class.

Now, faced with the “my way or the highway,” short-term approach of
the House Republicans, Senator Reid has put forward a responsible
compromise that cuts spending in a way that protects critical
investments and does not harm the economic recovery. All the cuts put
forward in this approach were previously agreed to by both parties
through the process led by the Vice President. Senator Reid’s plan also
reduces the deficit more than enough to meet the contrived
dollar-for-dollar criteria called for by House Republicans, and, most
importantly, it removes the cloud of a possible default from our economy
through 2012. The plan would make a meaningful down payment in
addressing our fiscal challenge, and we could continue to work together
to build on it with a balanced approach to deficit reduction that
includes additional spending reforms and closing tax loopholes for
corporations, millionaires and billionaires.

Senator Reid’s plan is a reasonable approach that should receive
the support of both parties, and we hope the House Republicans will
agree to this plan so that America can avoid defaulting on our
obligations for the first time in our history. The ball is in their

** Market News International Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **

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