President Obama Remarks on Budget as Senate Negotiates Gun Control

ABC News' Rick Klein on two issues legislators are debating in Washington.
3:00 | 04/10/13

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Transcript for President Obama Remarks on Budget as Senate Negotiates Gun Control
This is the special report. From ABC news now. And good morning everyone I'm -- cuts -- New York where this special report let's go down to the Rose Garden the president is unveiling his 2014 budget. My -- hard it is to do everything I can to reignite. What I can certainly true engine. The American -- Rising thriving middle class. That's what I think about every day that's the driving force behind every decision. That I make. Over the past three years our businesses have created nearly six point five million new jobs. We know we can help them create more. Corporate profits are an all time high but we have to get wages and incomes rising as well. Our deficits are following the fastest pace in years. But we can do more to bring them down in a balance and responsible way. The point is our economy is poised for progress as long as Washington doesn't get in the way. Frankly the American people deserve better than what we've been saying -- A short -- crisis driven decision making wipe the reckless across the board spending cuts -- early voting a lot of communities out there. -- economists predict will cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs during the course of this year. If we want to keep rebuilding our economy on a stronger more stable foundation. We've got to get smarter. About our priorities as a nation. -- what the budget I'm sending to congress today represents. A fiscally responsible blueprint. For middle class jobs. And world. For years the debate -- this -- has raged between reducing our deficits at all costs. And making -- investments. Necessary to grow our economy. In this budget answers that argument because we can do both. We can grow our economy and shrink our deficits. In fact as we saw -- the 1990s nothing shrinks deficits faster that a growing income. That's been my goal since I took office and that should be our goal going forward. I'm one too many Americans are still looking for work my budget begins by making targeted investments an area of -- will create jobs right now. And -- our economy to keep generating good jobs down the world. Let's in my State of the Union Address we should ask ourselves three questions every day. How we make America magnet for new jobs how do we -- -- workers the skills they need to do those jobs and how do we make sure -- hard work. Leads to a -- To make America a magnet for good jobs. This budget. Invest in new manufacturing hubs to help turn regions left behind by globalization. In the global centers of high tech jobs. -- spark new American innovation and industry with cutting edge research. Like initiative I lost them all the human brain -- -- disease. We'll continue our march towards energy independence. And address the threat of climate change. -- rebuild America partnership will attract private investment. To put construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads our bridges and our schools. In turn attract even more new business to communities across the country. To help workers. -- the skills they need to fill those jobs will work with states to make high quality preschool available to every child in America. We're gonna pay for it by raising taxes on tobacco products that harm our young people the right thing to do. Will reform our high schools and job training programs to equip more Americans with the skills they need to compete in the 21 century economy. And I will help more middle class families afford the rising cost of college. To make sure hard work is rewarded. We'll build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class for anybody who's going to work hard to climb. So will partner with -- -- -- of our communities hit hardest by the recession to help them improve housing and education and business investment. And we should make the minimum wage a wage you can -- -- because no one who works full time should have to raise his or her family and probably. My budget also replaces the foolish across the board spending cuts that already hurting our com. I have to point out that many of the same member of the congress who supported deep cuts. Or another wants complaining about the -- just. They -- their own communities. Of course the people I feel for the people who were directly feeling the pain of these cuts. The people who can least afford. They're hurting military commanders that a party sacrificed enough. -- hurting middle class families. Or children who've had in a lottery to determine which of them get to stay in the head start program with the friends. Our seniors who depend on programs like meals on meals on wheels that they can live independently but we're seeing -- services cut. That's what the so called sequester means. Some people may not have been impacted but there -- a lot of folks were being increasingly impacted all across this country and that's why my budget replaces these cuts. With smarter ones making long term reforms eliminating actual waist and programs we don't need anymore. -- building new roads and bridges educating our children from the youngest -- Helping more families afford college. Making sure that hard work pace. These are things that should not be partisan they should not be controversial we need to make them happen. My budget makes these investments to grow our economy and create jobs and it does so without adding a dime. -- -- -- -- on the topic of deficits. Despite all the noise Washington here is a clear and unassailable fact. Our deficits are already -- -- past two years signed legislation that will reduce our deficits by more than 2.5. Trillion dollars more than two thirds of -- -- spending cuts. On the rest are asking the wealthiest Americans to be in paying their fair share. That doesn't mean we don't have more work to do but here's how we finish the job. My budget will reduce our deficits by nearly another two trillion dollars. So that all told we will have surpassed the goal of four trillion dollars and up some reduction that independent economists believe we need to stabilize our finances. But it does so in a balanced. And responsible way. A way that most Americans. Prefer. Both parties for example agree that the rising cost of caring for an aging generation is the single biggest driver. Of our long term deficits. And the truth it's. For those like me who deeply believe in our social insurance programs think it's. One of the coral. Things that our government needs to do if we want to keep Medicare working as well as -- we wanna preserve the ironclad guarantees. That Medicare represents. But we're gonna have to make some changes. But they don't want to be -- And instead of making drastic ones later. What we should be doing is making some manageable ones now. The reforms I'm proposing will strengthen Medicare for future generations without. Undermining that ironclad guarantee that Medicare represents. Will reduce our government's Medicare bills by finding new ways to reduce the cost of health care. Not by shifting the cost to seniors -- the poor or families with disabilities -- reforms that keep the promise we've made -- seniors. Basic security that is rock solid and dependable and therefore you when you need. That's what my budget represents. My budget does also contain the compromise -- speaker Boehner at the end of last year. Including reforms championed by Republican leaders in congress. And I don't believe it. All these ideas -- optimal but I'm willing to accept them as part of -- compromise. If and only if they contain. Protections for the most vulnerable Americans. But if we're serious about deficit reduction. -- these reforms have to go hand in hand with -- reforming our tax -- To make it more simple and more fair so that the wealthiest individuals and biggest corporations cannot keep taking advantage of loopholes and deductions. Most Americans don't get. What's the bottom line. If you'll see -- about deficit reduction. Well there's no excuse to keep these loopholes -- they don't serve an economic purpose. They don't -- economy. They don't put people back to work all they do. Is to -- folks were already well off and well connected. Game the system. If anyone thinks I'll finish the job of deficit reduction on the backs of middle class families or through spending cuts alone. -- actually -- our economy short term they should think again. When it comes to deficit reduction are already met Republicans more than half -- so in the coming days and weeks I hope. That Republicans will come forward and demonstrate that there really a serious. Is serious about the deficits. And debt as they claimed. -- our economy. Creating jobs. Shrinking our -- Keeping -- promised to the generation that made us great. But also investing. In the next generation. Next generation will make -- even -- these are not conflicting goals. We can do them and -- So my budget does. That's why I'm so grateful for the great work the -- science -- his team have done in shaping this budget the numbers work. There's not a lot of smoke and mirrors and here. If we can come together -- a serious. Reasoned debate not driven by politics. And -- together around common sense and compromise. I'm confident -- move this country forward and leave behind something better approach -- Auto task. Thank you god bless you god bless the United States of America. And there's the president outlining his budget for 2014. The details of such include a three point seven trillion dollar budget mostly in spending cuts. It does include nearly 508 billion in revenue from tax increases the biggest spending cuts. Coming from Medicare. 400 billion getting cut over the next ten years and this budget also saving 230 billion dollars through -- change -- how inflation is calculated. Which would affect cost of living increases for those receiving Social Security. I want to bring in ABC's political director Rick Klein joins us now from Washington Rick. The president making a very impassioned plea and its sales pitch for his budget out there the but has got a lot of spending cuts. It also has 500 million dollars plus in tax revenue tax increases -- pretty much been a no go for Republicans in the past my back that's. Would -- the sequestered take place in the first place so why does the White House have confidence that this time is going to be any different. Let me tell you -- the White House is thinking about this they needed a game changer with this budget they are sick. Of the pitched battles that have dominated the last year and a half two years of president Obama's time in office where they keep talking about the same issues in the same ways. So what they did in this budget is that pres Obama is become the first democratic president in history. To include Medicare and Social Security cuts in his budget. Now these are the same things that he's put on the table in negotiations with Republicans before but he's never put -- -- black and -- before and the calculation on the part of the White House is that this is going to force Republicans back to the negotiating table that they're going to have to look at things like new revenue. Because the president is going someplace that he is not comfortable knowing his bases already sounding off about this a lot of liberals upset to see the president. Put this down on paper. But the idea is that Republicans will have no choice but it begins to start negotiations again over so called grand bargain that includes everything including entitlements. And including new taxes. Is that justify his statement saying that that he has -- Republicans more than half way by taking on that essential third rail of the budget negotiation process. I don't know -- it's exactly half for more than half for exactly where it is there's no question though that this president has moved considerably. Toward the Republican position. A lot of liberals are already saying that this budget is something that John Boehner could love because it includes some long held Republican positions in changing the way you calculate benefit increases on Medicare and Social Security it is an effective cut any -- one. Over time because these programs are so huge and just getting larger they're still in enormous democratic and mostly constituency. A folks who say don't touch Medicare don't cut Social Security these -- programs that four people. -- disadvantage in the society depend on the most this is the worst time to be doing something like that some of the president to go they -- whether it's half for a third or quarter or whatever it is. Even begin to take a baby step. On cuts like this is something that it it certainly is has a lot of political peril for Democrats on the. Other end of the economic spectrum expect -- the president is also pushing to implement the Buffett rule. Essentially anyone making more than million dollars has to pay at least 30% and taxes no matter what. Is that any more easily digestible for Republicans. No it is not -- the short answer is now Republicans are dead set against anything that involves tax rate increase is the only thing they're willing to talk about maybe. Is cleaning up some loopholes that that -- primarily impact upper income Americans and apply that money somewhere else in the budget for the idea of higher tax rates. An automatic tax rate that's absolute nonstarter and I don't think he's gone far enough in this budget. -- the entitlement side to begin to restart that conversation. It is though an issue that Democrats are on firm footing as the summit polls very well people believe in -- basic fairness in the tax code the Buffett rule is something that he campaigned on extensively so of course he's gonna push forward but I think that is part of that the budget that is more inspirational than realistic. So from the revenue -- out of the savings side 230 billion dollars in savings from being proposed in this changes CPI essentially changing how. Inflation in the center cost of living is calculated. -- some economists have been saying that is -- -- impact Social Security very drastically a pretty significant step by the White House correct. That's exactly right and this is the thing that has liberals most up in arms is a sort of a minor change when you think about of the system. A different way of calculating inflation that's pretty technical but it has a big impact over time. The proposal also includes 200 billion dollars in defense cuts and that's -- the many in the Pentagon. Has recommended. Are Republicans going to be able to rally behind that proposal. -- First of all this and that is no but the second piece of it is that all of that three point -- second is that the politics on defense spending has changed considerably. -- the last few months the fact that those automatic sequester cuts that you referenced went into effect they included defense cuts and there hasn't been. A huge outcry even among Republicans the third point is that these are cuts just on and on proposed expansions these aren't. Actual cuts that are -- -- impact dollar programs they -- so over time again because this is such large spending it has a big impact. But these are tiny little trends in the in the huge piece of the of federal spending and it is the defense budget. Did the president have to come out today and make the announcement in the Rose Garden to really kind of rally support. I he's gonna need the public on board for this in a lot of ways they previewed pieces of this budget last week and suddenly the Washington agenda. Has gotten very crowded you can do today under -- a series of split screens between. The gun control legislation that now seems to be advancing on Capitol Hill immigration with a big rally going on here and of course the budget issues the president -- -- -- on this thing. I think the point he just needs things to be different when it comes to the budget debates this second as they've been through this so many times everyone in town has been talking about the same issues over and over again. The idea that they want to have those -- discussions when they know the outcome is going to be the same. Very frustrating to the White House very frustrating to the president he doesn't -- -- have the next two or 84 years dominated by the same old debates and they need is some different. And -- executed up exactly where wanted to go which is on the hill today senators Joseph Manchin from West Virginia and Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania and -- their bipartisan proposal. -- new gun control legislation the compromise. Including background checks on all guns purchased -- -- something that was not required before. It also closes that so called gun show loophole and now. Even gun shows were required background checks before selling to customers. There is an exemption in this on any gun transfers or gifts between family members now senator mansion and Toomey spoke. Just a few minutes ago about this compromise let's take a listen. We have an agreement -- has an agreement. With that senator Kirk and senator Schumer of we have an agreement on an amendment to prevent criminals and the mentally ill -- from getting farms can -- people. That's extremely important for all of us are also. But -- we agree. That we need a commission on mass violence in this commission is going to be made up with people with expertise. People have expertise in guns people have expertise in mental illness people have expertise. In school safety and people who have expertise in video violence. We have a cultural violence and we have a whole generation who basically. Has been desensitized. And if you go around and talk to the young people today it just is what it is and we've got to find out how we can change and reverse that. We also need to protect legal gun owners' legal gun owners like myself and -- who basically. Cherish the Second Amendment Rights that we have. And we have done that also but today is just the start of a healthy debate the -- with the senate and house. Hopefully passing these common sense measures. And the president signing into at all back home where I come from we have. Common sense we have nonsense now we have -- cents. And that's what we're talking about the events at new -- truly the events in new chant changed to solve it changed our community our country. Our communities our towns and it changed our hearts and minds. This amendment won't ease the pain -- were not -- the pain of the families who lost their children on that horrible day. But nobody here I mean not one of us in this great. Great. Capital bars. With a good conscience could sit by and not try to prevent a day like that from happening again. And I think that's what we're doing Americans on both sides of the debate. Can and must find common ground. That's what -- -- -- working on what we've been able to do today's agreement is the first step in common ground at all disagrees crucial. To keep guns out dangerous hands and keep our children safe. This is a bipartisan. Movement -- a bipartisan amendment and we all know that a bipartisan solution. Is a lasting solution but nobody here in good conscious but set -- and not try to prevent -- day that has happened -- -- from ever happening again. I can't say enough about -- and my friend Pat Toomey. And I just appreciate him so much for working as hard and his staff along with the done. And for us all come together today so with that -- liken them to you my dear friend Pat Toomey from the great state offensive pass. Thank you very much senator mentioned. I I two. Want to commend. Senator mentioned for the great work that -- put in a long time on this our staffs have worked very hard as well. And I appreciate it from the -- to -- if you were gonna continue work together. I hope many -- also want to mention the terrific work that senator Kirk has -- -- -- he's really been. An invaluable asset in a very very important voice in this discussion and I appreciate that. But let me say you know Pennsylvania has a long bipartisan tradition. Of supporting gun rights and I've been proud to be a part of that tradition. And I continue to -- On gun owner and the rights that are enshrined in the Second Amendment are very very important to me personally. As I know they -- to so many people across Pennsylvania. My record shows this. I've got to tell -- candidly I don't consider criminal background checks to be gun control. I think it's just common sense. If you pass a criminal background check you get to buy -- -- it's no problem. It's the people who fail for criminal Laura mental health background check that we don't want having -- Found my time in public life. I've not taken -- very high profile role on this issue I spend most of my time and energy focusing on. Policies that'll help generate economic growth and job creation and put us on a sustainable fiscal path. That has been my focus it'll continue to be my focus. So let me explain you why I'm standing here today with senator mansion. I'm here because over the last few months. Several things became apparent -- first is that gun legislation appeared destined to reach the senate floor. It's not something that I -- but it's something that night I -- inevitable. Second thing is it became apparent that. There are a number of gun control proposals that I think actually would infringe Second Amendment Rights. And I will tell you categorically that nothing in our amendment prevents the ownership of guns. By any lawful person and I wouldn't -- it -- it -- But would also became apparent to me in the course of this debate there was that danger that we might end up accomplishing nothing. And not making progress where we could so that's when I started talking with senator mansion and senator Kirk. And others to see if we might be able to find a place where there's some common ground. And I think we found. And the common ground rests on a simple proposition. And that is that criminals and the dangerously mentally ill shouldn't have guns. I don't know anyone who disagrees with that -- From either political party or whatever folks views might be on. Broader gun rights issues. So we start with the notion that dangerous criminals and dangerously mentally ill people shouldn't have -- -- question is how we accomplish that. Now background checks are not a cure all by any means but they can be helpful. In a ten year period from 1999. To 2009. One point eight million gun sales were blocked by the current background check system. Because people were not qualified to own a gun. Not supported background checks in the past I support them now they already exist of course for the purchase of guns from licensed dealers. In Pennsylvania in fact they already exists for all handgun purchases. If it passes what our measure will do it and it'll expand background checks to purchases of firearms at gun shows and over the Internet. It would not require record keeping by any private citizens. The fact is the national law that we have -- and Pennsylvania's experience. Have done nothing to -- for the lawful ownership of guns by law abiding citizens and neither will our man. The war is that we hear sometimes. About background checks leading to an erosion of our Second Amendment Rights. But simply hasn't happened. I'm gonna make sure that it doesn't. I also should point out as senator mentioned did that this amendment is a genuine compromise. In addition expanding background checks it includes a number of measures that help to secure Second Amendment Rights of gun owners some items that gun -- have long sought. The bottom line for me assess and if expanding background checks to include gun shows and Internet sales. Can reduce the likelihood of criminals and mentally ill people from getting guns and we can do it. In a fashion that does not infringe on the Second Amendment Rights of law abiding citizens. And we should do it and in this -- man and I think we -- Thanks for. So right there the result of bipartisan support I want to bring in our political director Rick Klein to get your thoughts on this Rick. Does this change into the background checks this is enough support in the senate -- -- obviously EC both sides kind of talking about what it is they can do to move this forward but. When it's gonna -- entire caucus is that there it -- question of course is an open one in their words. About a dozen thirteen fourteen now Republicans -- -- filibuster anything that comes forward that's about the -- -- by itself I'll tell you -- Dan I just saw the statement from the National Rifle Association the NRA. Not a fan of this mansion Twomey proposal but there's a lot -- not saying that statement they're not saying if they're going to go all out against that they're mostly saying that they're happy what is it happen. Happening some of the things like the assault weapons ban that seems to be dead. In congress so I think part seeing that language in the NRA statement the two men that we just heard from. Full of them have lifetime being readings from the NRA -- of the NRA if they decide to make a big deal out of this and stand in the way of this innovative way -- you'll be. Going against two of -- most loyal members maybe many others it seems to me in its early were pushing for more information it seems to me. Like the NRA may be willing to let this happen if it means a trade off where they don't see other things like the assault weapons ban like limits on high magazine clips go into effect. On the bigger picture senate majority leader Harry Reid is calling for procedural vote tomorrow on -- -- the legislation. He said though he doesn't know if he has yet how have the support. So is this kind of a compromise get a better his chances tomorrow. Yes the answer is certainly yes to have. Any Republican support any NRA a -- support on something like this we don't know what that final bill is going to look like but this is a significant development this is the first time in this entire debate this year that has -- any glimmer of optimism and of course there are hurdles ahead. Not least -- House of Representatives still controlled by Republicans they may never take this up. But -- does seem more likely than not at this stage to actually happen. You can -- question how big -- deal -- is that very few transactions that we're talking about in the big picture that are certain that have been used for. Major crimes none of -- that recent mass shootings involve the gun show loophole -- Internet sales -- that possibilities out there. But it has been two decades since any gun control measures passed congress. We may be seen the first sign that that could change. What about the White House and again -- this compromise is just announced just a short time ago but what's going to be the president's reaction to this is the compromise. And now of a move in the direction of the White House wanted to move. It's not going to be enough but they're not going to say that -- -- is -- -- -- on this and they're gonna want to declare victory in some way and there are going to be right to be able to say. It's been twenty years -- you can even have this debate -- get any kind of movement. Is something that moves the ball and -- we can build on that on the road. But in -- again going back to the big picture on this when we -- afternoon town about the possibility of renewing the assault weapons ban the possibility of limits on high magazine clips couple things that potentially could have impacted the shooter in Newtown. Those things are now off the table essentially and there's nothing that's that the president is going to be able to do to bring that back that we see. Right now -- in his in his various ranges of options he -- tried to get the public engaged on these questions and if he were able to get. This piece of it I think -- be a big development but not nowhere near as being some advocates Gabby Giffords among them Mayor Bloomberg among them wanted at the beginning of this debate. Gun control and the budget two major issues being discussed in Washington today Rick -- Rick thanks so much for your insights this morning. -- a complete recap on So it's been a special with the from in the ABC news now.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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