The Washington Post

White House touts progress on budget, Libya

White House officials on Thursday said the administration had made both progress on both the situation in Libya and the federal budget impasse.

 Referring to the defection of Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Kusa on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said it was sign of the regime of Moammar Gaddafi was “crumbling.” Kusa resigned his post and left Libya for Britain.

“I think that is the most significant development of the last 24 hours in terms of where this is headed,” Carney said in a press briefing. He declined to say if the U.S. would provide arms to the rebels in Libya and would not confirm reports that CIA operatives have entered the North Africa country to learn more about the opposition there. On the budget, Carney noted there was “general agreement on a target figure,” even as House Republican leaders disputed Thursday an informal deal has been reached for an additional $23 billion in cuts to fund the government through September.

“We remain optimistic a deal can be reached,” Carney said.

The president remained out of public view on Thursday, as he has through much of the budget process.

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