White House senior adviser talks 'Plan B'

Why isn't the White House's plan to solve the debt crisis on paper?

It's a question echoing the halls of Capitol Hill where Republicans led by House Speaker John Boehner are in a stalemate with President Obama over spending and the deficit, and the question CBS News chief White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell posed directly to White House senior adviser David Plouffe on Tuesday.

"The people of America are very clear where the president stands and they stand with him," Plouffe told CBS News.

"We put out about four or five months ago our framework for deficit reduction. It provided the framework for a lot of the discussions we had with Speaker Boehner. People understand."

Plouffe highlighted tax code reform, domestic spending cuts and entitlement reform in areas like Medicare as bullet points to the White House's solution.

"We've been very clear," Plouffe said. "In the short term, in the next week, we're not going to solve our deficit problem, that's clear. Congress is going to need more time to do the work on things like entitlement reform and tax reform."

In a primetime address to the nation Monday, Mr. Obama repeatedly used the word compromise, though Plouffe told CBS News that a plan put forth by Boehner would not pass a Democrat-controlled Senate "as it exists."

So what's plan B?

"Plan B is you need to compromise," Plouffe said. "What's in the Senate and what's in the House -- there's quite a bit of commonality there."

"That word was not used by John Boehner. Unfortunately in Washington today people think 'compromise' is a dirty word," he added.

Plouffe said the president continues to talk to leaders in both parties, but would not specify any conversations with Boehner since this weekend.

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