'This Week' Transcript: David Plouffe and Lindsey Graham


We all agree -- and if you're an American citizen, you should be, I think, pleased by this -- there's almost unanimity that we need to stop putting as much spending on the credit card. So the debate we're having right now is, how do we reduce the deficit? So I think that all the leaders have said, both privately and publicly, that the United States of America is not going to default. So we...

AMANPOUR: Will it happen by the deadline, though, by the August 2nd deadline?

PLOUFFE: Well -- well, that is the deadline. Our borrowing authority runs out. And so...

AMANPOUR: No short-term extensions, a few days?

PLOUFFE: Well, what -- what we've said -- and I think some in Congress have said -- if you have a deal and you needed a day or two to dot the i's and cross the t's -- but there's no reason even to do that. We have to get this done by Tuesday because it would be inconceivable for the United States of America -- the impact that would have not only on people here in this country, most importantly, but around the world would be catastrophic.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But, David, let me press you on the details here, because the details of this enforcement mechanism are all-important. This is what the whole negotiation is coming down to right now. The president has said time and time again he wants a balanced approach that includes tax reform revenue increases. Everyone I've talked to on Capitol Hill says this enforcement mechanism would not include revenue increases, would just be across-the-board spending cuts, domestic spending, Medicare perhaps, and defense, and it would not include revenues.

So if the enforcement mechanism doesn't include revenues, what incentive would Republicans have to consider revenue increases? And wouldn't it all but guarantee that the final product is all spending cuts and not the balanced approach the president wants?

PLOUFFE: Well, I will. First of all, I think the committee is going to be charged with finding significant deficit reduction. I think there's going to be a lot of focus on that committee. Certainly the work president did with the speaker is going to inform that committee. I think the American people have spoken loudly and clearly they want a balanced approach that asks something of everybody.

Now, whatever enforcement mechanism is put in place has to be strong enough to compel action. Whatever its composition, people shouldn't look at this enforcement mechanism -- at least from my viewpoint -- as, well, you should assume that's going to happen.

Because what you want -- and, you know, historically there have been enforcement mechanisms that have been strong enough to compel action -- back in 1990, the first President Bush reached agreement with Democratic leaders because there was a looming trigger that people wanted to make sure...


STEPHANOPOULOS: But that included revenue increases. Now you're talking about one that does not include revenue increases. Isn't that the problem?

PLOUFFE: Well, listen, we're talking about a variety of options here. But the key principle is that the enforcement mechanism has to be strong enough to compel both parties.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But let me just press this, then...


STEPHANOPOULOS: Can the president accept an enforcement mechanism that is spending cuts only, automatic spending cuts only, that does not include revenues?

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