President Obama is pushing Congress to delay those deep spending cuts that will hit the military and other domestic programs in less than a month.
This would be the second time Washington has "kicked the can" down the road to avoid the fiscal cliff.
The "sequester" was supposed to kick in Jan. 1 but the president and Congress reached a deal to avert the cuts until March 1. He now wants lawmakers to come up with another short-term measure.
"They should at least pass a smaller package of spending cuts and tax reforms that would delay the economically damaging effects of the sequester for a few more months," Obama told reporters at a news conference Tuesday.
The president's plan includes some short-term spending cuts along with higher taxes, which Republicans are against.
On Tuesday, House Republicans took up legislation to require the president to submit a budget that would balance within a decade.
"We believe there is a better way to reduce the deficit, but Americans do not support sacrificing real spending cuts for more tax hikes," House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement.
"The president's sequester should be replaced with spending cuts and reforms that will start us on the path to balancing the budget in 10 years," he said.