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That is why, by the end of the day today, I must take action on the Senate's compromise legislation.
The legislation in point would cut $2.5 trillion from the deficit over the next decade and avert a default on our national debt. It would protect Social Security and Medicare without raising a penny of revenue.
The question us - will today's Republicans break away from the shrill voice of the Tea Party and return to the Republican Party of Ronald Reagan.
This is likely our last chance to save this nation from default.
I have invited Sen. McConnell to sit down with me, and to negotiate in good faith knowing the clock is running down. I hope will accept my offer.
I know the Senate compromise bill Democrats have offered is not perfect in Republican' eyes. Nor is it perfect for Democrats.
But together, we must make it work for all of us. It is the only option.
The settlement on the table will never give either party everything it wants. But it already meets the Republicans' demands.