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White House claims victory on debt ceiling

???What we saw happen last week was significant, in our view,” says Jay Carney.

In the first White House press briefing of President Barack Obama’s second term, his top spokesman claimed that the administration had scored an early win over House Republicans in getting entitlement reform debate in the ongoing debt ceiling debate.

Asked Tuesday about the apparent agreement among House Republicans at their retreat last week to support a three-month extension of the debt ceiling, press secretary Jay Carney told reporters that ???what we saw happen last week was significant, in our view.”

???The House Republicans made a decision to back away from the kind of brinksmanship that was very concerning to the markets, very concerning to business, very concerning to the American people,??? said Carney, ???[and] the simple proposition that they would insist on cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, in return for doing their job, paying their bills.???

In claiming victory in stopping any movement on entitlement reform insisted upon by many Republicans, Carney emphasized ???[t]hat was obviously something the president could not and would not support. That???s why he made clear he would not negotiate over the debt ceiling.???

RELATED: GOP consensus: Fight over spending cuts, sequestration

That the House Republicans apparently decided to move toward the three-month extension of the debt ceiling for now is, in Carney???s words, ???certainly something that we welcome.???

As to what to expect in the future if the debt ceiling extension is extended and revisited in two months, the White House press secretary said ???we take heart from the numerous statements by Republicans leading up to this decision, statements in which Republicans made clear that it was not the right thing to do to play chicken with the full faith and credit of the United States [and that] it was not the right thing to do to try to extract demands from the president of the Democratic Party [sic] in exchange for doing the responsible thing, which is paying the bills that you’ve already incurred.”

Carney added that when “[Texas Republican] Sen. [John] Cornyn or others say we will not default, period, we will not let that happen, we believe that???s true. And hopefully that will inform decisions made by Republicans in Congress going forward.”

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John Gizzi has come to be known as ???the man who knows everyone in Washington??? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on what???s going on in the nation???s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as ???Gizzi on Politics??? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of ???Gizzi???s America,??? video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. John???s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com