The HillTube

Pfeiffer: Obama budget won’t push a ‘Romney economic plan’

Interview begins at 1:25 mark.

Senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer on Sunday defended the president’s budget plan to be unveiled this week, saying that Obama had won reelection and would not “enact a Romney economic plan.”

Pfeiffer on ABC’s “This Week” pushed back against GOP criticisms that the plan withheld necessary entitlement reforms in exchange for even higher taxes, and said House Republicans were seeking to revive the economic plans of failed 2012 presidential contender Mitt Romney.

ADVERTISEMENT
“What this president will not do is come in, right after getting reelected, and enact a Romney economic plan, which is what the Republicans in the House are proposing,” said Pfeiffer.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) last week said the blueprint of the forthcoming Obama budget held vital reforms “hostage” to tax hikes.

Pfeiffer on Sunday held out hope that Republicans would see the president’s plan as a serious approach to rein in the deficit.

“But if Speaker Boehner’s position, as he said it in that statement, remains his position, then we will not make progress,” he cautioned. 

Pfeiffer said the plan from Obama would both trim the deficit while protecting job growth.

“The president is serious about trying to find a balanced solution to our deficits and have a comprehensive economic plan, and shows that we don’t have to choose between deficits as far as the eye can see and job creation and economic growth,” he said. “You can do both.”

The proposal though is already attracting criticism from both the right and left, with liberal lawmakers opposing a formula which will adopt chained CPI for calculating benefits. The plans were also released the same day as a jobs report which showed employers only added 88,000 jobs in March – figures lower than initially forecast.

Obama defended his forthcoming budget in his weekly address as “Not my ideal plan,” but a “compromise” he was “willing to accept.”

My budget will reduce our deficits -- not with aimless, reckless spending cuts that hurt students and seniors and middle-class families – but through the balanced approach that the American people prefer, and the investments that a growing economy demands,” said the president.

Obama’s budget will be released on April 10. The House and Senate have already passed their own budget plans, with the House proposal cutting $5.7 trillion in spending and balancing in 10 years. The Senate plan raises taxes by $1 trillion.

Asked to predict the chances there would be a budget deal, Pfeiffer demurred.

“Based on my bracket, I don’t think I should be in the predictions business.  But there is a good chance both sides want to compromise,” he said. “If the Republicans, particularly in the House, think my way or the highway approach, then we’re not going to get a deal.  Simple as that.”