President Barack Obama is urging Congress to find a way to stop the automatic budget cuts set for next month.
In his weekly address, the president said that while he still wants a comprehensive deal to fix the overarching problem, which is the deficit, he said it may take a lot longer for Congress to find a solution.
The president has strongly suggested an immediate short-term package of cuts and tax reforms so the military and the economy don't suffer.
An estimated $85 billion in spending cuts will take effect on March 1.
"There's no reason we can't keep chipping away at this problem, and there's certainly no reason that middle-class families and small businesses should suffer just because Washington couldn't come together and eliminate a few special interest tax loopholes or government programs that just don't work," Obama said.
The spending cuts will be applied across the board, and were only briefly postponed by the deal that solved the fiscal cliff crisis.
The president is expected to focus on the economy during much of his State of the Union address on Tuesday night.