[Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama says that if Congress can't come up with a long-term deficit reduction package by March 1, Congress should pass a smaller, short-term package to avoid the deep automatic spending cuts that otherwise would take effect that day.
The imminent spending cuts – known as sequestration – were part of a 2011 debt ceiling deal.
In his comments moments ago at the White House, Obama said his past proposal – a mix of spending cuts, entitlement reforms and increased revenue – remain on table. He says this mix, rather than spending cuts alone, is the most sensible option.
Choosing only to cut spending, Obama said, would "cost us jobs and slow down our recovery."
[Initial post, 12:03 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama today will call for a short-term agreement to put off deep cuts to government spending set to take effect next month, a senior administration official has confirmed to CNN.
The president will make a statement to reporters at 1:15 p.m. ET that urges Congress to pass a measure that would put off the imminent spending cuts – known as sequestration – that were part of a 2011 debt ceiling deal, the official said.
A White House official, also on condition of not being identified, issued a statement that said Obama will call for a balanced approach – which is code for including additional revenue with spending cuts – to "avoid the deep, indiscriminate cuts to domestic and defense programs slated to take effect in just over three weeks."FULL STORY