"I don't know a lot of people on either side of the aisle who don't believe in infrastructure and I don't know a lot of people on either side of the aisle who don't believe in educating the next generation," Treasury secretary Jack Lew said in defense of the president's call for spending to bolster growth in the middle class.
Push back to the president's plan comes from Republicans who want to cut more spending.
Lew said "we've actually accomplished roughly the amount of deficit reduction we all set out to accomplish a few years ago," and what people want is, "us to build a better future for the American middle class."
The secretary also addressed the House Republicans' push to cement the sequester cuts into the budget, over $100 billion in the next year, and enact billions more in cuts in the upcoming negotiations.
"Congress has to write bills that meet the challenge that the president set forth, to start investing in our future. And Congress cannot steal from domestic priorities to fix problems that across the board cuts have caused in defense," Lew said.
Another fiscal battle, set to occur near simultaneously, is what it will take for the parties to agree in an increase in the debt limit.
“The president has made clear, we cannot negotiate about whether or not the government of the United States would default.
"It was a mistake in 2011 to have that debate. It hurt the economy," Lew said.