On Thursday morning, White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest assured reporters that when President Obama unilaterally attempts to raise cell phone taxes, that’s not an “end-around” Congress. That revelation prompted laughter from the press pool. President Obama has urged the supposedly-independent Federal Communications Commission to raise cell phone taxes to pay for increased broadband capacity for public schools.
“The FCC will decide whether another tax is applied? You’re not making an end run around Congress in this case?” a reporter asked.
Earnest answered: “Well, I — ‘end-run’ is not the word I would use. What I would say is that there has been — (laughter) — what we have seen from Congress is, we’ve seen a lot of stagnation and dysfunction and an inability to act on some rather obvious priorities of the American people. And so we have made pretty clear — and I think the president has demonstrated a willingness — to act on his own where he can, and where necessary to make progress on those priorities. And that’s exactly what we’re doing in this case.”