The president said that the only deal he would reject was a short-term one, and vowed to meet with negotiators every day until there's an agreement
President Obama used his bully pulpit on Monday to continue to call for a larger deficit-reduction deal that would produce closer to $4 trillion in spending cuts and include tax increases.
"Now is the time to deal with these issues. If not now, when?" Obama said at a press conference. "I've been hearing from my Republican friends for quite some time that it is a moral imperative for us to tackle our debts and our deficits in a serious way. I've been hearing from them that this is one of the things that is creating uncertainty and holding back investment on the part of the business community. So what I've said to them is, 'Let's go.'"
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His remarks flew in the face of demands by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) Saturday that negotiators work on a smaller deal that can pass the House.
Boehner's announcement that he would abandon attempts to pass a long-term deal indicated that the conservative wing of his caucus is indeed powerful enough to limit the size of an agreement. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), represented that wing of the party and dominated discussion at tense talks at the White House on Sunday evening. The only agreement negotiators and congressional leaders reached was a commitment to meet again Monday, at 2 p.m.