(WASHINTON) — Reacting to an early rejection of the expected details of the White House’s budget proposal by Speaker John Boehner, President Obama’s senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer pushed back this morning on ABC’s This Week, saying that the president would not enact “the Romney economic plan.”
“What this president will not do is, come in, right after getting re-elected, and enact the Romney economic plan, which is what the Republicans in the House are proposing,” Pfeiffer said.
The White House is expected to release details of a budget proposal this week that includes cuts to Social Security and Medicare, which are unpopular among some Democrats.
But Pfeiffer said those entitlement cuts would only happen on two conditions.
“One, it’s part of a balanced package that includes asking – closing tax loopholes that benefit the wealthiest, and two, that it has protections for the most vulnerable, including the oldest seniors,” he said.
The news of those details in President Obama’s budget was met with a swift statement from the House speaker indicating that raising taxes was a non-starter.
“When the president visited the Capitol last month, House Republicans stated a desire to find common ground and urged him not to make savings we agree upon conditional on another round of tax increases. If reports are accurate, the president has not heeded that call,” Boehner said in a statement Friday. “If the president believes these modest entitlement savings are needed to help shore up these programs, there’s no reason they should be held hostage for more tax hikes. That’s no way to lead and move the country forward.”
Pfeiffer also addressed the ongoing negotiations over a possible bill that would address gun violence in light of the shooting in Newtown, Conn. last year that left 20 children dead. At this point, only a bill that includes new rules on background checks is likely. Pfeiffer scolded Republican members of the Senate for insisting on a filibuster, recalling the president’s most recent State of the Union address.
“Every member of Congress stood up and applauded when the president called for an up or down vote on these measures. Now that the cameras are off and they are not forced to look the Newtown families in the face, now they want to make it harder and filibuster it,” Pfeiffer said.
Finally, the president’s senior adviser addressed tensions between the United States and North Korea. Pfeiffer said the administration would not be surprised if the secretive communist regime conducted another missile test.
“We wouldn’t be surprised if they did a test. They’ve done that in the past. Like I said, this is something that’s been going on with North Korea for many, many years, long before President Obama came to power,” Pfeiffer said.
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