(WASHINGTON) -- In recent days, Obama administration officials have warned of the devastating things that will happen if upcoming spending cuts go into effect. Now in his weekly address, President Obama urges Republicans in Congress to take action to avoid the looming sequester cuts, saying, "Congress can turn them off anytime with just a little compromise."
The president warns that if the sequester -- set to take effect March 1 -- goes on, the economy will suffer, jobs will be lost, national security will be compromised, and education and health care programs will see deep cuts.
But, he says, instead of cutting spending in a "smart way" by closing "wasteful tax loopholes" for the wealthy, "Republicans in Congress have decided … they would rather let these cuts fall squarely on the middle class."
The president adds, however, that he is hopeful Republicans will change their minds so that Congress can "build on the more than $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction we've already achieved."
Underscoring the need to reduce the nation's deficit in a "balanced" way, the president calls for "smart spending cuts, entitlement reform and tax reform."
"That's my plan. It's got tough cuts, tough reforms, and asks more of the wealthiest Americans," he says, continuing, "And it requires Democrats and Republicans to meet half way to resolve the problem."
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio