Barrasso: Obama ‘slowing down’ fiscal talks

Barrasso, speaking on CBS’s “This Morning,” said that Obama was refusing to address the nation’s spending problems, hampering efforts on Capitol Hill to broker an agreement

"The president is, I think, slowing down the process, not helping," Barrasso said on the show.

Barrasso's comments come as legislators have less than 24 hours before the end-year deadline to prevent tax-rate rises and spending increases from taking effect.

On Sunday, although both chambers of Congress reconvened in anticipation of a deal, Democratic and Republican negotiators were unable to agree on a number of sticking points such as the estate tax and how to offset the cost of the sequester. 

"The bottom line is the president's the only one with a pen who can sign into law something and he ought to be very involved with making sure that he gets something that he can sign that can pass a Republican-controlled House and a Democrat-controlled Senate," Barrasso said. 

In an interview aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Obama placed the blame for the protracted negotiations on Republicans and said he had made a concerted effort to reach a deal. 

"I offered not only a trillion dollars in — over a trillion dollars in spending cuts over the next 10 years, but these changes would result in even more savings in the next 10 years and would solve our deficit problem for a decade," Obama said in the interview.

Barrasso, though, said Monday that Obama had shown little interest in pushing meaningful deficit reduction. 

"The president doesn't seem too eager to actually get involved and find solutions to deal with the number one problem in our country,” he said.