"We're trying to figure out what is that period of time. Obviously, I want to bring others along with me," he said, referring to the bipartisan prospects of such legislation.
"I want to put in place a mechanism that causes us to really cap that spending, and bring it down relative to our gross domestic product over a period of time," he said.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have begun to publicly express worry over the long-term fiscal situation facing the U.S. Republicans claim that a bevy of federal spending by Democrats in control of Congress has widened the hole in the budget, while Democrats charge that the tax cuts Republicans want to extend would also worsen the fiscal situation.
Lawmakers are set to vote at the end of this year, during a lame-duck session of Congress, on a proposal from President Obama's fiscal commission to address the long-term debt. But political jockeying over that commission's work has already begun, with liberal Democrats threatening to vote down any proposal that affects Social Security benefits, and Republicans wary of any proposal that would result in a tax hike.
Republicans in the House have already introduced their own short-term proposal to address spending, favoring a reversion to 2008 government spending levels. House Minority Whip Eric CantorEric CantorTrump allies warn: No compromise on immigration Chamber of Commerce overhauls lobbying operation Laura Ingraham under consideration for White House press secretary MORE (R-Va.) suggested on CNBC on Monday that he might even like to see spending reduced to 2006 levels.
--Cross-posted from Blog Briefing Room.