WASHINGTON — The White House said Tuesday it was confident Europe had the ability and will to tackle its debt crisis and said there was "no question" events across the Atlantic could impact the US economy.
Officials in Washington are eyeing events in Europe as fears mount that a banking or sovereign debt crisis could further slow the stalled US economy, which failed to create any net jobs last month.
"The Europeans face a difficult challenge, but we believe they have both the ability and the will to meet their obligations," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
Carney said that President Barack Obama's top aides were in regular contact with European financial leaders, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who will be in France for a meeting of G8 finance ministers at the weekend.
Ahead of Obama's major speech on job creation to a joint session of Congress on Thursday, Carney acknowledged that outside factors were impacting the US economy that the White House could not control.
"There is no question that there is an impact," he said.
"We have some role with our European counterparts, but it is not completely within our control," Carney said.
Obama has frequently cited the European debt crisis, along with the Japanese earthquake and tsunami disaster and turmoil sparked by the Arab Spring as among the factors that have caused US economic growth to slow in recent months.