President Obama expressed optimism Sunday about the GOP-led Congress largely accepting his fiscal 2016 budget, even though it includes tax increases to pay for infrastructure projects and other proposals to help the middle class, but not before weighing in on “Deflategate.”
“I think Republicans believe we should build infrastructure,” the president said in a pre-Super Bowl interview with NBC-TV. “My job is to present the right ideas. If Republicans have better ideas, they can present them. … But I’m not going to trim my sails.”
The president on Monday submits to Congress his $4 trillion budget, which include a six-year, $478 billion public-works program for highway, bridge and transit upgrades, with half of it to be financed with a one-time, 14 percent tax on U.S. companies’ overseas profits.
Before discussing the budget Sunday, the president, a sports fan and weekend athlete, said he has followed the controversy about 11 of the 12 footballs given by the New England Patriots to NFL referees before the recent NFC championship game being under inflated.
He said he was previously unaware that teams, not the National Football League, supply the balls and that he expects league officials will consider changing that policy to avoid such future controversies.
Still, the president suggested the incident should not be dismissed, despite the Patriots trouncing the Indianapolis Colts in that game.
“If you break the rules, you break the rules,” he said.
Obama, a Chicago Bears fan, said he’s not picking a winner in Sunday’s Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks game.
“It’s always wises not to alienate a big city,” Obama said.
The president disagreed with the notion that he has acted too boldly in the weeks after losing big in the November elections, instead of acting conciliatory.
He said his actions and words are a “celebration” of America’s recent economic successes, arguing unemployment is down while wages and energy production are up.
Obama, as he and other administration officials have recently stated, said his plan for his final two years in the White House is to continue to help the middle class with 21 Century ideas.