Previewing the Second Term
The president will make the point "very strongly" that “people here in Washington need to seek common ground” White House senior advisor David Plouffe said in previewing the Obama's second inaugural address.
Plouffe also argued that the president has not been the impediment to agreement between the two parties.
"The barrier to progress is not the president, we need to see more Republicans willing to compromise," Plouffe said.
The next opportunity for the two parties to work together to find agreement will likely be over whether to raise the debt limit.
House Republicans proposed this week to allow for a short-term deal, tied to a requirement that the Senate pass a budget, something they have not done since 2009.
Plouffe said that while the White House is pleased that House Republicans have moved past their position that any agreement to lift the ceiling will accompany spending cuts, they do not favor a short term deal.
"We don’t think short term is smart for the economy," Plouffe said, adding that Washington needs to "contribute certainty and help to the economy."
Plouffe put forward a marker that Democrats have emphasized over the course of the past several weeks, the administration will expect more revenue in any deficit reduction deal.
"The key is whether House and Senate Republicans are willing to agree to revenues," through closing loopholes-a tax reform policy they have supported in the recent past.
Finally, Plouffe addressed the so-called second term curse, and how the president plans to avoid it.
"It’s not like we are roaming around the White House looking for things to do," Plouffe said.
Listing a number of policy initiatives the president plans to push, Plouffe said, "We are going to bring the same energy and focus to the second term."
"I also think you need to stay connected to what you ran on," Plouffe added.
Republican Senator Roy Blunt (MO), who also serves as vice-chair of the Republican Conference, said the key to the next four years is the president's willingness to lead.
"There's only one guy who can lead and that’s the president," Blunt said.
Blunt argued that the problem has not been Republican intransience.
"He has not done much to advance a specific agenda," Blunt said, adding, "You can t get that far with executive ordersYou have to legislate."
Blunt says the president has to work with the Congress
Blunt said all of the upcoming debates over fiscal issues-raising the debt ceiling, addressing the sequestration cuts, and funding the government- are opportunities for Republicans to fight for spending cuts.
Asked whether he supports the short-term debt ceiling deal proposed by House Republican leadership, Blunt said he agreed Congress should not get paid if they do not do their work.
"I think all of us losing our pay if we don’t pass a budget is a good thing," Blunt said.