WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- President Obama is committed to working with the U.S. Congress cooperatively to help America's middle class and grow the economy, the White House said Monday.
"I know that the president begins this year committed to working with Congress cooperatively and in a spirit of compromise to get things done that help the American people, that help the middle class, that help our economy grow," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Monday.
Obama was encouraged by the bipartisan effort on passing the budget resolution negotiated by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the leaders of their chambers' respective budget committees.
"And while that was modest and we acknowledged it at the time, it was a break from past practice, at least the immediate past, and it was a positive sign," Carney said.
The White House hopes the bipartisanship in the budget debate "might foreshadow more opportunities for cooperation in areas where there is agreement about how to invest in our economy ... how to embrace, for example, our commitment to reduce the corporate tax rate and eliminate a lot of tax loopholes, and ... to invest heavily in infrastructure in this country so that we can create jobs today and a stronger economic foundation for the future," Carney said.
Comprehensive immigration reform also is a chance for bipartisan cooperation, given the broad bipartisan support across the country, Carney said. A bipartisan immigration reform bill has passed the Senate.
If bipartisanship cannot be achieved on an issue, Carney said, the president could act administratively when he can and use his executive authority "to advance an agenda that helps the economy grow and helps the middle class feel more secure."