Carney: Obama 'absolutely' rejects CR deal repealing medical device tax

Earlier this week, Republican senators said they would attempt to attach language repealing the tax to the continuing resolution, with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) calling it a "stupid dumb-ass thing." The 2.3-percent tax on medical equipment has come under bipartisan scrutiny.

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“They needed $30 billion more to pay for this monstrosity called ObamaCare,” Hatch told reporters on Tuesday. “Frankly, it’s one of the stupidest votes I’ve ever seen in my life, one of the stupidest aspects of that whole ObamaCare bill. And there’s so many stupid aspects of that it would take all day to explain them to you.”

Carney went on to accuse Republicans of repeated attempts "to derail the essential function of government in order to achieve a political objective."

"What [the president] will not do is engage in an attempt by Republicans to extort from him what they could not get through the legislative process, what they could not get at the ballot box, what they could not get at the Supreme Court," Carney said.

But, Carney said, "they have all come to naught and they will all come to naught."

"We are implementing the Affordable Care Act," he said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) also balked at the idea of linking the continuing resolution or a debt-ceiling hike to repeal of the medical device tax. 

“Senator Reid thinks the idea of attaching the medical device tax repeal to the CR or the debt ceiling is ‘stupid,’ " said Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson. 

"Senator Reid supports the medical device tax, and his position is clear from his record: he voted for the medical device tax in the Affordable Care Act and against repealing it during the budget debate earlier this year. His position has not changed, and the Senate will reject any CR that includes a repeal of the medical device tax. If the House wants to avoid a Republican government shutdown, they should pass a clean CR. Period.”

Carney also said the White House would not accept a deal that tied raising the debt ceiling — which expires Oct. 17 — to approving the Keystone XL pipeline, another proposal suggested by some Republicans.

Carney said that Republicans have suggested tying a litany of partisan objectives to the debt bill, but that the president would flatly reject any attempt to negotiate over the debt ceiling.

"The only thing I didn't see mentioned was a birther bill attached to it," Carney quipped.

Earlier Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the White House would have no choice but to bargain.

"The president says, ‘I’m not going to negotiate,’ " Boehner said. "Well, I’m sorry, but it just doesn’t work that way. We’re not going to ignore Washington’s spending problem and we’re not going to accept this ‘new normal’ of a weak economy, no new jobs and shrinking wages."

- Bernie Becker contributed.