President Obama says he has invited Congressional leaders from both major parties to the White House next week to begin talking about a solution to the "fiscal cliff."
The President said a solution must include expense cuts and revenue increases. He renewed his call for the rich "to pay a little more" in taxes while extending the Bush tax cuts for the middle-class.
The so-called "fiscal cliff" is a package of drastic budget cuts and tax hikes designed to compel Congress to make a budget deal. It automatically takes effect at the end of the year.
He said he was encouraged that House Speaker John Boehner endorsed revenue increases through an overhaul of the tax code and closing loopholes.
But Boehner repeated earlier today that he opposes any increase in income-tax rates.
"If Congress fails" to reach a solution by the end of the year, the President said, "everyone's taxes will go up" with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.
"Let's extend the middle-class tax cuts right now."
The President delivered a statement in the White House. He was greeted by cheers from White House staff members.
It was the President's first formal remarks since his re-election.
The President did not take questions from reporters.