President Barack Obama has urged Congress to protect the middle class from an income tax hike as negotiations over the so-called "fiscal cliff" continue.
In his weekly address to the nation, Obama called his proposal "a balanced plan", adding it was one "that would protect the middle class, cut spending in a responsible way, and ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more".
"You meet your deadlines and your responsibilities every day. The folks you sent here to serve should do the same", the President said.
"We cannot let Washington politics get in the way of America's progress. We've got to do what it takes to protect the middle class, grow this economy, and move our country forward", he concluded.
America's financial crisis has been averted, not solved. We've had the fiscal cliff. Now get ready for the debt abyss.
Democrats and Republicans have so far failed to agree on an alternative plan to the tax increases and spending cuts scheduled for January 1.