Amid market turmoil, WH warns against a 'self-inflicted wound'

Amid market turmoil, WH warns against a 'self-inflicted wound'
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A White House spokesman on Monday sought to soothe public fears amid dramatic volatility in U.S. stock markets, while delivering a warning to Congress to avoid a "self-inflicted wound."

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Press secretary Josh Earnest stressed the “ongoing strength and resilience of the U.S. economy" during a briefing with reporters, citing the falling unemployment rate and growing investments.

He said those indicators point to “how durable the U.S. economy continues to be even as we see increased volatility overseas.”

Earnest blamed the current market volatility in large part on weakness in the Chinese economy, adding that Treasury Department officials are closely monitoring overseas markets and President Obama has been briefed on developments.

Earnest also encouraged China to adopt economic reforms, including tying its currency rate to market forces.

Earnest warned, however, that “this would be a particularly bad time for a self-inflicted wound.”

The Obama administration spokesman called on Congress to avoid a government shutdown and pass spending bills that reverse the sequester, reauthorize the Export-Import Bank and pass a long-term highway spending bill.

"We would like to see Congress take the kind of common-sense steps that builds on momentum that the economy continues to enjoy," he said.

— This report was updated at 1:37 p.m.