As the eurozone financial turmoil continues and talk of additional bailout money from the International Monetary Fund mounts again, the White House made clear this morning further U.S. contributions for the IMF are off the table.
At the regular briefing for White House reporters today, Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest told HUMAN EVENTS that “additional American resources into the IMF… that is not something that is being considered right now.”
When we pressed Earnest further as to whether additional tax dollars for the IMF were truly “off the table,” he replied without qualification: “That’s correct.”
Reminding Earnest that the President said in 2009 that U.S. support for the financial titan was “woefully inadequate” and that Congress promptly voted for an additional $100 billion for the IMF at his urging, we asked the administration’s position today on Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ (R-Wash.) legislation to rescind that $100 billion appropriation and apply the unused funds to the deficit.
“I’m not able to comment,” Earnest replied, adding that he was unfamiliar with the measure offered by the congresswoman (which so far has 91 co-sponsors in the House).
But he went on to emphasize the administration’s belief that there needs to be a “strong European firewall” of funding in place to stop the crisis from spreading to other countries. In Earnest’s words, “t]he support of resources offered by the IMF would not be a substitute for anything that the eurozone countries would collectively do.” He also pointed out that this position was previously articulated earlier in the day by Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner when he was asked by reporters about the IMF.
Earnest’s appearance marked the first occasion in which he has filled in for Press Secretary Jay Carney.