'This Week' Transcript: David Plouffe and Lindsey Graham


BOEHNER: I have offered ideas. I've negotiated. Not one time, not one time did the administration ever put any plan on the table. All they would do was criticize what I put out there. I stuck my neck out a mile to try to get in agreement with the president of the United States. I stuck my neck out a mile.


AMANPOUR: House Speaker John Boehner on Friday night, a taste of the intensity that's defined the final hours of the debt ceiling debate. The speaker weathered some tough challenge this week, and now he faces a new test. Whatever deal is worked out between the Senate and the president will, of course, have to pass muster in the House, so lots of twists and turns still to come.

Joining me to chart the course, George Will, Pulitzer Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, who's also a columnist for the New York Times, Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, a group that's played a major role in this debate with its no-new-taxes pledge, and once again, ABC chief political correspondent George Stephanopoulos.

Gentlemen, you just heard what Senator Lindsey Graham said, what David Plouffe, the president's adviser, said. Mitch McConnell is saying they're quite close, that he'll have the parameters of a framework he thinks to show to his members today.

Is this now going to pass? Are we going to get a deal?

WILL: I think we are. And I think it was signaled when the president spoke last Monday. That's six days ago; it seems like six months ago. But what he said was it is unjust and unacceptable to have a debt ceiling agreement that does not include revenues, that is unbalanced. The president said that after the second most prominent and powerful Democrat in Washington, Harry Reid, had proposed exactly that. He not only proposed that -- that is, an increase without revenues -- but an increase that had the other main Republican component, which was spending cuts commensurate in dollar numbers with the increase in the debt ceiling.

AMANPOUR: So it's a win?

WILL: It is a win. Now, the conservatives are saying it's imperfect, to which one must say the Sistine Chapel ceiling is probably in some sense imperfect.

AMANPOUR: Well, I don't know. Was Michelangelo imperfect? Is this imperfect? Or is it enough for you to get your people behind?

NORQUIST: Well, it avoids the two biggest challenges, and everybody goes back to 1982 and 1990. It doesn't have a tax increase in it. It appears to have real spending restraint with mechanisms to enforce it, as opposed to what happened in the past, where we had the tax increase without spending restraint. By missing those two, it moves in the right direction. Would I like to see more spending reductions? Absolutely. Are we moving in the correct direction? Yeah.

AMANPOUR: George, we've just been talking to Senator Graham and before to David Plouffe. I mean, Senator Graham extraordinarily seemed to say that it actually didn't go far enough and that he actually wouldn't be voting for it.

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