Plouffe rallies progressives on fiscal cliff
Plouffe with President Obama in March 2011.
December 21st, 2012
03:27 PM ET
10 years ago

Plouffe rallies progressives on fiscal cliff

Washington (CNN) - As House Speaker John Boehner prepared to leave the Capitol Friday, President Barack Obama's top political adviser David Plouffe told Democratic activists the nation's attention on the fiscal cliff will increase now that Washington has failed to reach a deal. According individuals on the call, he asked Obama supporters to help spread the message that the president is doing what he can.

Plouffe offered aid for several progressive priorities in exchange for their help messaging on the president's work to get a deal to avert the fiscal cliff, according to participants.

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"We want to make sure people know that the president has a solution that has already passed the Senate," Plouffe said, according to an individual on the call. "If you help us we'll do all the other things you care about like climate and immigration."

Plouffe was speaking on a conference call with progressive groups organized by the White House as negotiations to avert the fiscal cliff reached a standstill.

Supporters of the president were encouraged to outline how failing to reach a deal would affect Americans, according to several individuals on the call.

"We rely on organizations to get clear information out to constituents about what will happen," Plouffe said, adding that groups should "build public support for the president through the holiday season," according to a participant.

According to sources, the president's top strategist suggested the White House believes they've been more than accommodating in reaching a compromise.

"We can't cut much more," Plouffe said, according to an individual on the call. "We can a little, but we've already come halfway." And he laid blame for the failure to reach a deal at the feet of House Republican leaders who, he said, are "unwilling to take on their base."

"We're not willing to sign a bad deal," Plouffe said on the call, as told to CNN by one participant on the call, one of many the administration will hold with supporters.

However, unemployment benefits remain one unanswered question. Plouffe said the president is insistent those are extended before they expire at the end of the year.

He acknowledged Washington should act to tackle long-term deficit reduction, spending and entitlement reform, but in the meantime Congress should not let what he described as "dysfunction," harm the middle class.

Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans are set to expire at the end of the year and tax rates have been at the center of ongoing negotiations between Congress and the White House.

Plouffe said the administration has moved halfway, which is the definition of compromise. Although the president originally said he would not support tax increases for individuals making over $200,000 a year and couples making over $250,000 a year, the White House upped that level to $400,000 as part of the negotiations. Plouffe said that level of compromise was generous, especially considering Democratic support in the November election.

"What's the best message?" Plouffe asked. "We need to protect the middle class, trying to make sure taxes don't go up for people under 250,000, the only reason that's not happening is that Republicans are trying to protect upper class."

Boehner brought negotiations to a halt when he introduced his Plan B Tuesday that he described as a fallback option. On Thursday it failed to gain sufficient GOP support. The measure proposed maintained tax rates for most Americans while allowing rates to return to higher levels for those making over $1 million per year.

Boehner left the capitol Friday and publicly put the onus on the president and the Senate to reach a compromise.

Filed under: Fiscal Cliff
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    Boehner left the capitol Friday and publicly put the onus on the president and the Senate to reach a compromise.
    So, he cut and ran away from the issue in shame. The American people know that any bill to resolve this crisis *must* originate in the House and Boehner is the "designated driver" to bring it up for a vote.

    December 21, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. me

    The republicans have failed the American people and it makes no snese for the president to sign a bill that's not good for the American people. The onus really is on the republicans and if they as a group choose to ignore the wave that will come crashing down on them, then they do that at their own peril. This bill will set the tone for all negotiations and at this time I wouldn't be surprised if they pull the same stunt in three mobths when the debt ceiling has to be raised. Fools and Tools.

    December 21, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. Maryellen

    Boehner should be fired, he doesn't deserve to be the House Speaker, shame on him. The GOP is so out of touch, I hope every republicain running in 2014 is voted out.

    December 21, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  4. ST

    What a horrible speaker Boehner is? What a responsible person can leave a house in fire and ask others to distinguish it? Boehner must go. He is good for nothing.

    December 21, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    And this Xmas, the GOP will be eating crowducken.

    December 21, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. NRA

    At Columbine there was an security giard with a gun. That worked out really well. Oh no it didn't.

    This good guy bad guy stuff is stupid. The kid got the gun from his mom who bought it legally and trained him how to use it. The career criminals are not the problem. Its kids of gun toting parents.

    Also this dicussion is about assault weapons. When assualt weapons were outlawed before did the world collapse. No.

    December 21, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  7. rs

    The question is now that Boehner and the Republicans have (once again) turned tail on the economy, just who speaks for them? Who is their "negotiator"??

    This is where the Brits have it over us. If we had a system like theirs we could call a no-confidence vote, hold elections and kick the useles, self-absorbed losers out. Unfortunately we're stuck with these guys until November 2014.

    December 21, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  8. Kelby in Houston, TX

    Plouffe has a much easier job than Boehner. As long as Plouffe presents us with something reasonable, he will have no problem getting progressive support

    December 21, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  9. wiseup

    wiseup: I'll bet boehner and other repubs regret selling their souls to the Tparty devils in the name of winning house control . Now T-Party is now controlling Boehner. Boehner can deny it all he wants, but when he couldn't get enough votes to tax plan to avoid fiscal cliff. T-party dolts and Norquist would not allow plan b tax hike standing by his pledgw not to nraise taxes. Norquist ain't seen anything yet. repubs was expecting white house to offer trilions in spending cuts while repubs offering billions in tax hikes most aimed at mid class. wealthy has had a free ride long enough

    December 21, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. ohioan

    Republicans and their interest groups continue to shock me into voting Democrat at every level. That's the only way they will return to a viable party, giving Americans two good choices instead of the only choice. Governors Kasich and Walker, you're next!

    December 21, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  11. wiseup

    wiseup: repubs.had their chance to work out a fair compromise on spending cuts, with a fair tax revenue plan paid for by wealthier. a fair and balanced plan would have been dollar for dollar spending cuts vs. tax revenue.if repubs wanted 2tril in spending cuts then they would have to kick in 2tril in tax revenue. Repubs cried that would affect job growth. BULL ! with all the tax breaks the wealthy(so called job creators) unemploy would be around 4 %. The real job creators are the mid to lower class who buy the products that create demand for more products. by raising taxes on middle c;lass and lower class is the real job killers.

    December 21, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. wiseup

    wiseup: congressmen ( house and senate) should have to punch a time clock just like any other employee has to. You would make the going rate in your district or state. In NW ohio it is probably $12.00 to $15.00 per hr. If you don't show up for work on a regular basis. you get fired. there could be a $100.00 bonus for each piece of legislation that gets passed. With the amount of time spend congressmen spend at work., with bonuses, they might knockdown $25,000 to $40,000, a year. Welcome to real world of working class.

    December 21, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  13. carrborian

    these tea party people are mentally ill.

    December 21, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. Name lynn

    one of the republicans need to put out a bat signal an capture john boehner and let president obama all the republicans an democrates come together a makes the right decisions without boehner then they all will have a merry christmas and a happy new year

    December 21, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. Kelby in Houston, TX

    The Republicans should have taken President's first offer

    December 21, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |