Senate GOP to Obama: Act swiftly on deficit or risk 'dereliction of duty'

In a meeting at the White House on Thursday, the Senate GOP conference will urge President Obama to take swift action to reduce the deficit, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the floor.

"We need to face this problem now," McConnell said Thursday. "Not tomorrow. Not after the president leaves office. Not after the markets collapse. Not after hell breaks loose. Not after we lose another 3 million jobs and the housing market collapses again. Now.

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"Anything less would be a dereliction of duty and a signal to the world that America doesn’t have the will to fix its problems," he said. "Republicans refuse to accept that.

“That’s been my message all along," he added. "That’s the message we’ll be taking to the White House today."

President Obama has invited Senate Republicans to the White House "to talk about the range of important issues on the legislative agenda, including the need to adopt a balanced approach in confronting the nation's long-term deficit challenges," White House spokesman Jay Carney said earlier in the week.

Obama met with Senate Democrats on Wednesday and urged them to unite in the face of looming showdowns with Republicans on fiscal issues.