White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest whacked Republican lawmakers for their refusal to consider passing more tax hikes, saying that remains the “chief impediment” to progress on a budget and deficit reduction deal.

“For some time now, the chief impediment to reaching a grand bargain has been the refusal of Republicans to ask the wealthiest and well-connected to pay even a dime more to help us deal with our deficit challenges. I’m sad to report that, even months later, that, that continues to be the case, that we are seeing a group of Republicans in the Congress who are refusing to compromise on this,” he said.