U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that President Obama has “put forward a number of things that are very difficult for him politically” during debt reduction negotiations and called on Republicans to step up and compromise as well.

“Republicans are going to have to do some difficult things too. You can’t ask middle class families and retirees to bear the entire sacrifice for those savings on their own,” Geithner said in prepared remarks for a speech during the Women in Finance Symposium on Tuesday.

Geithner said Congress must reach a deal on the debt ceiling in the next two weeks in order to allow lawmakers time to draft and pass a bill and avoid hurting the economy if the debt ceiling is breached.

“Failure is not an option,” Geithner said. “Both sides understand what is at stake and will come to an agreement.”