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POLITICS: PennAve

Josh Earnest tries to explain why the White House doesn't blame Democrats for congressional inaction

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Politics,White House,Congress,Brian Hughes,Barack Obama,Republican Party,Democratic Party,PennAve,Budgets and Deficits,Spending,Josh Earnest

The White House on Tuesday insisted that it was appropriate to place the blame solely on Republicans for Washington gridlock, even as the GOP moves ahead on a highway-funding bill backed by President Obama.

When asked whether it was fair to not criticize Senate Democrats for the lack of a blueprint on transportation funding, White House press secretary Josh Earnest replied, “I think that it is.”

“You've seen a steady, consistent drumbeat from congressional Republicans opposing common-sense measures time and again that the president and other Democrats have advocated -- everything from increasing the minimum wage to laws that would guarantee equal pay for equal work, measures that would reduce the cost of a college education,” he added.

Republicans counter that Obama is conveniently ignoring divisions in his own party on an array of issues to paint the GOP as extremists disinterested in governing.

On the highway funding bill, for example, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., recently said the short-term fix would “put us in a rut.”

Obama has gotten particularly aggressive in his denouncement of Republicans lately, saying they are interested only in blocking his initiatives and calling him names.

And Earnest on Tuesday poked fun at the president’s GOP rivals.

“At the risk of sounding like a character on a police drama,” he said, “Republicans have a little bit of a rap sheet when it comes to blocking common-sense proposals that would benefit middle-class families."

House Republicans are expected to vote on the highway-funding bill later Tuesday.

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Brian Hughes

White House Correspondent
The Washington Examiner

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