Transcript: White House Senior Advisor David Plouffe

So the phase here is basically, we need action. The American people know the economy is too weak. Too many of them are suffering. So the question for Washington is, are we going to continue to play political games and -- and -- or are we going to say, we can do something right now to create jobs, to put money in the pockets of the middle-class, hire construction workers, teachers, veterans? The president's plan would have a profound impact on the economy, and Congress ought to act right now.

AMANPOUR: OK, so you're talking about the president's jobs bill, but even the Democrats aren't bringing it to the floor. The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, has said the floor's too jammed right now, he can't get it on the schedule. I mean, what does that mean?

PLOUFFE: No, no. We expect to have a vote on the American Jobs Act in October.


PLOUFFE: And we're going to -- yeah, we're going to continue to go around the country and here in Washington and make the case. We think there's been huge support for it in the Democratic Party and across the country.

AMANPOUR: Is October late?

PLOUFFE: Most economists -- no, it's not late. Most economists have looked at this and said it would have a profound impact on the unemployment rate, on our growth, on job creation. It's the right thing to do.

And, again, the question is, what -- if we don't act, do these members of Congress really want to go home at the end of the year and say, "You know, I didn't -- I couldn't be bothered to help the economy"?

AMANPOUR: A lot of Democrats on Capitol Hill are actually talking negativity about parts of it. If the whole bill came up now, as a whole, whether it's today or in October, do you think it would pass the Democratic-controlled Senate?

PLOUFFE: Well, first of all, the vast majority of comments from Democrats -- and, again, from economists, from the American people, it's been enormously positive...

AMANPOUR: But do you think it will pass?

PLOUFFE: I think it's got a very good chance. This has tax cuts for every small business and every worker, rehiring teachers, modernizing our schools, helping rebuild our infrastructure, all things that can help the economy in the short term and are important for our long-term economic future. And they traditionally have had bipartisan support.

AMANPOUR: Now, Christine Romer, the president's former economic adviser, gave a robust defense today in the newspapers of this, but there are others who are still looking at it quite skeptically. For instance, the White House, when they drew this up, asked the economist Mark Zandi to look at it, and he's since told the A.P. that the stimulus will start fading away and the economy will be back in the same place in three years from now, so basically saying that what -- what you've put forward is kind of a Band-Aid.

PLOUFFE: Well, first of all, so what are we supposed to do? Nothing? So the economy will be worse over the next year or two? That makes no sense at all.

This is part of a longer-term economic strategy. The economy is too weak right now. We need to jump-start it. The American Jobs Act will provide that jump-start, to help us into next year and the year after that.

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