He said $1 trillion would come from drawing down U.S. military forces over the next 10 years and another $1.5 trillion would come from "comprehensive tax reform." That reform, Obama said, should include closing tax "loopholes" and lowering the overall tax rate.
He also said it would "observe the Buffett rule," which is that people earning more than $1 million per year should not pay a smaller portion of their income to taxes than middle-class Americans pay.
"To assist the committee in its work, I also included specific tax loophole closures and measures to broaden the tax base," Obama's letter added. "Together with the expiration of the high-income tax cuts from 2001 and 2003, these measures will be more than enough to reach the $1.5 trillion target."
Republicans have balked at Obama's plan to seek a greater deficit reduction figure by including tax increases, but have said they are willing to work on proposals where there is some agreement in both parties.
After Obama's letter was read on the floor, the presiding officer in the House said the proposal was referred to several House committees. The House then adjourned until 2 p.m. Tuesday.