In a televised statement Friday afternoon, President Obama said he had a “good and constructive” meeting with congressional leaders earlier in the day.
"I'm modestly optimistic that an agreement can be achieved," the president said from the White House.
“The hour for immediate action is here. It is now,”’ Obama said.
He warned Congress against further delays.
"We're now at the last minute and the American people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy," he said. "Outside of Washington, nobody understands how this seems to be a repeat pattern over and over again."
Senate leaders have pledged to work through the weekend and bring senators back into session Sunday in hopes of approving an agreement to protect taxpayers, the unemployed and the nation’s economy from the worst effects of the “fiscal cliff.”