U.S. President Barack Obama has called on Congress to stop the $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts to domestic and defense programs. The cuts known as the sequester are set for March 1.
In his weekly address Saturday, the U.S. leader said the spending cuts threaten thousands of jobs and national security, but could be avoided with "just a little compromise" from Republicans.
Obama said, however, that "unfortunately, it appears the Republicans in Congress" have decided "that instead of asking anything of the wealthiest Americans, they would rather let the cuts "fall squarely on the middle class."
President Obama said he believes the deficit reduction should be done in a "balanced way with smart spending cuts, entitlement reform, and tax reform."
Watch President Obama's weekly address:
U.S. Senator John Hoeven of the north central state of North Dakota delivered the Republican Address. He accused President Obama of blocking economic growth and private-sector job creation with "regulation, red tape and bureaucracy."
Watch weekly Republican address: