By The Hill Staff - 04/11/11 12:26 AM EDT
President will present deficit reduction plan
President Obama will release a long-term plan on reducing the nation’s deficit later this week, White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe announced Sunday on “This Week.”
Few details were released about the plan but Plouffe said the President would take “a balanced approach” and likely propose repealing the Bush tax cuts on wealthier Americans.
Plouffe made it clear that the House Republicans’ alternative — crafted by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) — was unacceptable.
“[Ryan’s plan] might pass the House, but it’s not going to become law,” Plouffe said on “Meet the Press.”
During his appearance on “Meet the Press,” Ryan defended his plan and said it would do four things for Americans: grow the economy, grow jobs, save entitlement programs and pay off the nation’s debt.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said he doubts Obama will make sufficient spending cuts in his proposal.
“The last two months we’ve had to bring the President kicking and screaming to the table on cutting spending,” Cantor said about the continuing resolution negotiations on “Fox News Sunday.”
The CR to fund the rest of 2011 and avoid a government shutdown was agreed upon late Friday night and will be voted on in the House this week. It is expected to pass with bipartisan support.
On “Face the Nation,” Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the CR helps to “cut the waste but not the seed corn,” but he would not confirm if he would vote for it.
Cantor said the spending cuts in the CR were “just the first bite of the apple.”
He said the bigger vote approaching is whether to increase the national debt limit and that Republicans would not vote for it unless there is a guarantee that “out-of-control spending won’t happen again.”
Plouffe said it would be a “catastrophic failure” if the debt ceiling wasn’t raised.
“We should not be playing brinksmanship with the U.S. line of credit,” Plouffe said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Blair upbeat about change in Libya
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair touted an optimistic view of the Libyan intervention Sunday and argued that a shared “process of change” will see the country through to democracy.
However, Blair only hinted that Libyan Col. Moammar Gadhafi must step down in order to ensure that transition.
“[We need] a process that changes the constitution, the way Libya is governed … [that ultimately] lets the people decide. If you can get that through the Gadhafi camp at the moment … that is the optimum thing,” Blair said.
Blair is reported to be speaking regularly with Gadhafi as situation progresses.
“His view is that we got it all wrong,” Blair said, explaining that Gadhafi believes that the civilian uprising is a matter of tribal conflict exacerbated by al Qaeda.
“This is obviously not the case,” Blair said.
At the same time, Blair defended the Libyan leader and said he should be “treated as someone with a [real] perspective.”
Trump defends ‘birther’ questions
Real estate mogul Donald Trump defended his perspective as a “birther” Sunday, arguing that the question of President Obama’s birthplace is still an open one.
Trump made headlines recently for his outspoken comments questioning the validity of documents that show Obama was born in Hawaii, which some conservatives believe are fraudulent.
“You know who is going to be the happiest if he [Obama] releases a real birth certificate? … I would be. I would be very happy,” Trump said on “State of the Union.”
Polls from last week show Trump’s popularity among GOP presidential primary voters leaping. One, conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, showed him equal to Mike Huckabee and 4 points behind supposed frontrunner Mitt Romney.
On “This Week,” senior White House adviser and former Obama campaign director David Plouffe dismissed Trump’s comments as a “sideshow.”
Social Security deal possible, says Ryan
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said he thinks Social Security reform might be an issue Republicans and Democrats can work on later this year.
“Social Security is something we might have a shot at working on this summer,” Ryan said.
White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe agreed with a question that Social Security is not President Obama’s President’s number one priority since he believes it is not significantly affecting the deficit. But he said Obama does want to ensure the program’s sustainability.
“Compromise can’t be a dirty word,. It’s the way we’re going to move forward as a country,” Plouffe said.