President Obama has come out more forcefully on raising taxes and protecting entitlements than he has before and Democrats will be behind him, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the top Senate Democrat in charge of messaging, said Monday.
Schumer praised Obama in a conference call shortly after Obama animatedly defended a proposal to cut the deficit by $3 trillion by raising taxes on millionaires. Obama also vowed to veto a deficit plan that cuts entitlement programs while not increasing
"He did it in terms more forceful than we have seen from him before," Schumer said.
"The president has a winning plan and he's going all in and I believe Democrats will be behind him," Schumer added.
In particular, Schumer praised what the White House has dubbed the "Buffett Rule" which proposes to reform the tax code so that millionaires and billionaires pay taxes at a higher rate in proportion to their incomes than the middle class.
"The Buffet Rule has the potential to be a game changer in the tax debate," Schumer said.
Schumer said that the rule should be brought to the Senate floor soon and said it would force Republicans "to accept this balanced approach" or "lay naked" the GOP's priorities on taxes and the wealthy. Schumer did not give a timetable for when he hoped to see the Buffett Rule up for a vote in the Senate.
Additionally, Schumer pushed back on the idea that GOP opposition to Obama's proposal made it nothing more than political grandstanding.
"Chances are slim if we have the vote today," Schumer said. If Obama takes his proposal on the road though, it a vote that passes the president's plan could come soon though. Schumer said that the prospects could change in Obama's favor in a month.
In response to Obama's speech, top Republicans in both the House and Senate said Obama's plan hindered the supercommittee's work for agreeing on a set of spending cuts to reduce the deficit.
Schumer said Democrats have feared that the supercommittee would focus only on spending cuts.
"The president has made clear that that's a loser," Schumer said. "I think that's better to come out sooner than later."