President Obama tried to use the bully pulpit to pressure Congressional leaders to wrest free of some of their ideological binds and come together to hammer out a long-term debt deal, warning both sides he would not accept a temporary 30- to 60-day stop-gap fix.
“I have been hearing from our Republican friends that it’s a moral imperative for us to tackle our debates and deficits in a serious way,” Obama told reporters at a briefing Monday. “So what I’ve said to them is let’s go. It is possible for us to construct a package to involve both parties to take on their sacred cows.”
[TPM SLIDESHOW: Battle Over The Budget At The White House]
“We might as well do it now, pull off the band aid, eat our peas,” Obama said.
With the clock ticking down for both sides to reach a deal on raising the debt-ceiling, Obama is urging Republicans to back away from their insistence on no new tax increases and Democrats from refusing to agree to seismic changes to entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security.
Obama urged Republicans and Democrats to return to the White House at 2 p.m. Monday afternoon more willing to compromise.
“I think it would give the American people enormous confidence that this town can actually do something one in a while,” Obama said.