Thank you for joining us this morning for NPR's special live coverage of this event.
"Saying he is prepared 'to take significant heat' from members of his own party in order to achieve meaningful debt and deficit reduction, President Obama this morning again pushed for a big, long-term budget deal with Republicans.
And he heaped praise on House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) for his efforts to strike such a grand bargain, even though the Republican leader has said that he probably can't get such a plan approved by members of his party. The president said that both he and Boehner need to convince skeptics in their parties' ranks of the need for action.
'If not now, when?' Obama asked, underscoring what he said is the opportunity now to get a deal done.
The president also flatly declared that an agreement will be reached in time to prevent a default by the federal government after Aug. 2, the deadline for increasing its 'debt ceiling' on borrowing.
And he said he will not accept any temporary fixes. 'We don't manage our affairs in three-month increments,' he said.
President Obama held a news conference that focused on the negotiations over raising the federal debt ceiling, slashing projected federal deficits and putting the nation's fiscal books in order."