Obama presses Senate Dems for unity

President Obama told Senate Democrats Wednesday that they need to be unified as a showdowns loom with Republicans over raising the debt ceiling and taming the federal deficit.

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidSenators briefed on US Navy's encounters with UFOs: report Key endorsements: A who's who in early states Trump weighs in on UFOs in Stephanopoulos interview MORE (D-Nev.) said after an almost two-hour meeting between Obama and Senate Democrats at the White House on Wednesday afternoon that the president ended the meeting "on a very high note," telling the senators to "work together."

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"We are singing from the same hymnbook on the same page," Reid said.

Reid said Obama also instructed the Democrats to avoid etching out hard and fast positions on fiscal matters like Republicans have done, presumable giving the White House more room to maneuver and compromise.

"Let's not lay down the gauntlet," Reid said Obama told the group. "Let's not draw a line in the sand."

Reid called on Republican to embrace Obama's call for ending oil and gas tax subsidies, saying that the GOP should get behind eliminating $21 billion in tax dollars for companies reaping record profits.

Republicans, Reid said, should "start there with a sign of good faith."

Reid said that he joins the president in looking for ways to cut spending and "make sure the world knows we're serious" about getting the U.S.'s fiscal house in order.

The president made clear, Reid said, that compromise is the only option and the two parties "have no choice but to work this out."

Obama is scheduled to meet with Republican senators Thursday.