WH official predicts closed-door attempt to merge debt ceiling bills

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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White House official David Plouffe predicted this morning a closed-door reconciliation of the two debt ceiling plans being developed or pushed by the House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority leader Harry Reid.

“You have to reconcile what is in [the] Reid and Boehner [plans] … that’s where the compromise is,” Plouffe said on Chuck Todd’s morning MSNBC show. (RELATED: CBO issues positive evaluation of Boehner’s revamped plan)

He also predicted there would be a follow-up set of negotiations, “a downpayment on deficit reduction, which is very important,” said Plouffe, who tried to depict the debt-ceiling debate as dysfunctional.

Plouffe declined to say the president would veto Boehner’s two-stage plan, which would require another debt-ceiling debate early in 2012.

Yesterday the White House announced that advisors would urged the president to veto the plan, but did not answer Todd’s question about whether Obama would definitely veto it. “Yes [the president] has been clear,” Plouffe said, without answering Todd’s question, before adding that the Bohener plan “will never get to us” because Senate will defeat it.

Plouffe also tried to spin current dispute to help the President’s 2012 election. “What is important for the American public to understand is that the president is trying to lead, because that’s what they want,” he said.

Plouffe also tried to blame Republicans for the crisis, even though neither the President nor Democratic legislators have released or vote on a public detailed budget proposal for dealing with the nation’s escalating debt. “We need compromise so that the American economy is not held hostage, he said, presaging a campaign-trail strategy of blaming Republicans for the stalled economy.