"What's been frustrating for us is our Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives particularly, have taken a position, a very absolutist position that there can't be one single penny of tax expenditures or loophole closing to raise revenues at all," National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling told CNN.
As part of "a bipartisan compromise to move forward, everybody's got to give a little bit," Sperling said.
On Sunday, the administration released a report predicting the state-by-state impacts of the spending cuts in an effort to rally supporters. Later this week, Obama will visit Newport News, Va., to highlight how the defense industry will be hit by the spending cuts.
Republicans have said that they will not agree to replace the sequester with a combination of spending cuts and new taxes, arguing they already agreed to higher taxes as part of the "fiscal cliff" deal last month. They have also said that while they would be willing to consider tax reform as part of a broader debt deal, that would only come if additional revenue was applied to paying down the debt — not new spending — and in conjunction with entitlement reforms.
The GOP has also accused the administration of focusing on a public relations campaign rather than taking action to avert the cuts.
"Republicans in the House have voted — twice — to replace President Obama's sequester with smarter spending cuts," said Michael Steel, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), in a statement. "The White House needs to spend less time explaining to the press how bad the sequester will be and more time actually working to stop it."
That was a frequent refrain from Republican lawmakers appearing on Sunday's political talk shows.
“I won't put all the blame on the president of the United States, but the president leads,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said on CNN’s “State of the Union" on Sunday. “The president should be calling us over somewhere — Camp David, the White House, somewhere — and sitting down and trying to avert these cuts."
On Monday, Sperling said the American people wanted a deal in which "everybody compromises."
"Why don't we get together here and have the compromise we need to avoid this self inflicted wound?" Sperling said.