The Washington Post

Plouffe: Obama to outline plan for long-term deficit reduction

UPDATED at 10:56 a.m.

White House adviser David Plouffe said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that President Obama this week will outline his plan for long-term deficit reduction.

Plouffe said Obama “clearly believes that we can still grow economically with smart deficit reduction,” and he will “be clear about the type of deficit reduction we need in terms of dollar amounts, over what period of years.” Plouffe said “every corner of the federal government has to be looked at” and “revenues are going to have to be part of this.” He said that ways to “strengthen Medicare” will be examined, and both defense and domestic spending will be on the table, but the administration does not view Social Security as a driver of deficits. Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Plouffe said that upper-income Americans need to contribute to deficit reduction.

On CNN, Plouffe declined to respond directly to House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) comments Saturday that there is “not a chance” Republicans will deliver a “clean bill” to raise the rapidly approaching debt ceiling. Plouffe said the limit needs to be increased and specifics will be addressed down the road. Plouffe told Fox’s Chris Wallace that “this week shows” the two parties can come together.

Republicans appearing on the Sunday shows did not back away from Boehner’s combative remarks on the debt ceiling.

On Fox, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said he won’t support raising the debt limit without “guaranteed steps” to change the trajectory of spending. He said the vote will be about dealing with the fiscal mismanagement of the past.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said “it would be extremely dangerous for our Republican colleagues to play a game of chicken on the debt ceiling” during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.”

“We’re asking the president one thing,” said Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) on CNN, “If you want our help to pay off your debt, start cutting up the credit cards.” When asked if he was willing to “play chicken” with the debt ceiling, Hensarling said he didn’t know what that meant. Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) echoed Hensarling’s comments on ABC, saying “simply expanding the credit card is not the right answer.”

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) defended the president’s leadership and said he hopes Boehner understands “that if we default [as a result of failing to raise the debt ceiling], it will have a dramatic negative impact on America’s economy.”

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.


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