President Barack Obama on Tuesday proposed a short-term budget fix aimed at avoiding deep spending cuts.
His proposal, a smaller package of spending cuts and tax reforms, was immediately rejected by leading Republicans who want significant reforms, Reuters reported.
"I'm flabbergasted," House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon told Politico. "Until he addresses the real problem, which is mandatory spending, he's just whistling in the wind."
In the final hours of 2012, Congress passed a short-term deal to avoid the fiscal cliff.
But that legislation expires in just three weeks — on March 1 — and Congress must now again debate how to head off $1.2 trillion in across-the-board spending cuts.
More from GlobalPost: 3 more fiscal cliffs the US faces in 2013
Obama stressed the deals he's already been working on with House Speaker John Boehner are still on the table.
But that didn't seem to satisfy many conservatives.
His remarks came at about the same time the Congressional Budget Office released new economic figures showing the budget deficit will fall below $1 trillion in 2013 for the first time since 2008, The New York Times reported.
In a lighter moment, noisy cameramen at one point interrupted Obama during his statement.
“What’s up cameraman? Come on guys," the president said, smiling. "You’re breaking my flow all the time.”