White House Advisor David Plouffe Says No Budget Deal Reached Yet As Default Deadline Nears

PHOTO: White House Senior Advisor David Plouffe appears on This Week with Christiane Amanpour.
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White House senior advisor David Plouffe says there is no formal agreement between Congress and the White House on a final budget deal, but says that the framework of a viable deal is shaping up as the Aug. 2 debt ceiling deadline nears.

"No, there's not" a deal, Plouffe told "This Week" anchor Christiane Amanpour, before outlining the framework being discussed.

"Both parties agree that there is going to be a first stage deficit reduction - over a trillion dollars," Plouffe said. "There will be a congressional committee established. They're not going to reduce the deficit without tax reform and without entitlement reform."

Plouffe acknowledged that the current framework would not include tax revenue increases in the first stage, but said that would be up to appointed committee members to "get out of their comfort zone" in order to achieve deficit reduction.

"You're going to have to have closing of tax loopholes," Plouffe said. "You're going to have to have revenue produced to close the deficit."

Plouffe added that an enforcement mechanism being debated would apply pressure to the committee to reach long-term deficit reductions, as a combination of budget cuts and tax reforms would automatically be applied if the committee could not come to a consensus later this year.

"We're talking about a variety of options here," Plouffe said. "But the key principle is that the enforcement mechanism will be strong enough to compel both parties."

"Good Morning America" co-anchor and ABC News Chief Political Correspondent George Stephanopoulos also joined the conversation on "This Week," pressing Plouffe on why he is confident that enforcement mechanism would include that balance of spending cuts and tax increases, given Republicans opposition to any deals that have included tax increases.

"I'm confident that any solution that this committee would produce that untimely will be voted on in Congress is going to be a balanced one," Plouffe said.

Republican Opposition

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he is not certain if he will support the current deal under negotiation, saying it does not go far enough on long-term spending reform.

"From a big picture, I'm not ready to vote for this," Graham told Amanpour. "I don't see many conservatives getting behind this, quite frankly."

But he added that he believes only half of House Republicans would need to get behind the current plan for passage.

"I think half the conference in the Republican House must vote for this," Graham said. "Maybe [Speaker of the House John Boehner] can get more, but it's a $3 trillion package that will allow $7 trillion to be added to the debt over the next decade. So how much celebrating can you do about that?"

Graham does believe some Republicans could "declare victory in a limited fashion" on a final deal, since there are no immediate tax revenue increases on the table.

"This deal is a lot better than what a lot of people thought," Graham said. "But it's not nearly where the problem is."

"We Don't Have Much Time Left"

David Plouffe added that the Treasury Department's Aug. 2 deadline for default has some flexibility.

"What we've said and what some in Congress have said, if you have a deal and you need a day or two to dot the i's and cross the t's," Plouffe said. "But there's no reason to even do that."

But Plouffe said the deadline pressure needs to remain on raising the debt ceiling, calling a default by the United States "inconceivable."

"We don't have much time left. A little over 60 hours," Plouffe said. "In the last hours, people are looking for off ramps. There is no off ramp. The only option is for Congress to raise the debt ceiling and sign these initial deficit reduction savings into law."

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