With only 10 days remaining until the congressional supercommittee must present a plan on how to cut the nation's deficit by $1.2 trillion, the panel remains divided.
A frustrated President Obama called on the committee to "do the responsible thing," and show more flexibility.
"It feels as if people continue to try to stick with their rigid positions rather than solve the problem," Obama said of the 12 members of the bipartisan deficit committee.
"My hope is that over the next several days, the congressional leadership on the supercommittee go ahead and bite the bullet and do what needs to be done, because the math won't change. There's no magic formula," the president added.
Aware of the economic and political consequences of failure, lawmakers are toying with the idea deferring a tax deal until next year.
"There could be a two-step process that would hopefully give us pro-growth tax reform," Rep.Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas told CNN Sunday.
Should the panel fail to reach an agreement, a series of cuts from military and civilian programs would automatically take effect in 2013 - something many fear would trigger a stock market sell-off.