TODAY   |  August 01, 2011

Obama adviser: Debt deal will pass

David Plouffe, a senior White House adviser, tells TODAY’s Matt Lauer he believes the bipartisan deal to raise the debt ceiling will pass both the House and Senate.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> much. david plouffe is senior white house adviser to president obama .

>> good morning.

>> they're talking about a done deal and it's really not a done deal until congress votes on this. there are unpredictable caucuses in the house, for example. what's your level of confidence?

>> that's going to be up to each member of congress. congressional leaders in both parties ended up moving forward based on substance of this, which was a compromise obviously where both partys will not get everything they wanted but also a sense that it will be passed. each member is going to have to evaluate this. but we think at the end of the day this is an agreement that will pass the senate and the house, and the president will sign into law.

>> you hear a lot about compromise. everybody wants of to be able to stand up and say, hey, we got somewhat we we wanted and we comp pro misd for the good of the nation. i want to play you something that the democratic congressman which missouri had to say about the nuts and bolts of this. listen to this.

>> if i were a republican i would be dancing in the streets. i don't have any idea what the republicans wanted that they didn't get.

>> so did the president compromise here, david, or did he give in simply so that he wouldn't be labeled as the president who was on duty as the nation defaulted on its financial obligations?

>> now, listen, you're obviously seeing some criticism from my party, you're seeing some criticism from the republican party . but what this does is first of all we get significant deficit reduction, $1 trillion on the fronted. the president said the spending cuts are phased in carefully over time . secondly we have an opportunity this fall, congress does, to visit a next day reduction. and in that stage, entitlement reform, tax reform will be looked at. reported there's a enforcement, those are done carefully. 50% of those savings would come from defense and programs like medicaid, college loans, children's health care would be next.

>> one of the things you left off that laundry list though is taxes. the president wanted more revenues, to raise taxes on wealthiest americans , wanted to get rid of some tax cuts for corporations. those are not in there. is the fight over taxes over and did the president lose it?

>> absolutely not. this congressional committee is going to look attacks reform, entitlement form. our point was things like social security , cuts to medicare beneficiary, medicaid, we did not think those should be part of the debt reduction package without tax reform . none of those things are in this initial package and that's what the debate in the fault is going to be speaker boehner said in his opinion raising taxes in the second phase of the plan is nearly impossible. would you agree with that?

>> no, that's just not true. obviously in our discussions with speaker boehner he tentatively agreed to raise $800 billion in revenue. you see a lot of republican senators, business leaders in the country saying we need a balanced budget . i think that's the case the president is going to make. if we're going to do it in the fall it should be tax reform , closing loopholes for the wealthy and big corporations. the good thing is, you're right, it's got to pass, is now we can move forcefully and essentially on to the economy, on the job creations, and this debt ceiling was harming our economy. it was harming consumer confidence .

>> it may have also harmed our image. deal or no deal , the way this played out and as long as it played out, has had some impact. daiftd sanger writes about this in the "new york times" this morning. and when talking about this process he says, quote, it has left america's creditors and allies alike wondering what has changed in american politics , that a significant part of the country's political elite was suddenly willing to risk the nation's reputation as the safest place for the rest of the world to invest. have we been emotionally downgraded, david, even if we avoided technically being downgrades?

>> i don't think so, matt. as the president said last night, this was messy. the president last week urged the american people to reach out to capitol hill to demand our leaders compromise. i think that was one of the reasons leaders finally compromised. but the president said last week, the american people did choose divided government but they didn't choose dysfunctional government and there were moments it looked dysfunctional. moving forward it would behoove all of our leaders to lower their voices a little bit and be more earnest in seeking compromise.

>> david plouffe at the white house . appreciate it.

>> thanks, matt.