President Obama urged Congress to agree on a combination of tax reform and spending cuts to achieve deficit reduction during a speech Tuesday in which he proposed an alternative to the drastic automatic spending cuts that were part of the budget sequester deal.

Back in 2011, Congress and the White House struck a deal to raise the debt ceiling on the condition that Democrats and Republicans come up with a way to produce at least $1 trillion in deficit reduction measures over 10 years’ time, or else face a combination of automatic spending cuts in both defense and non-defense programs starting this year. After a bipartisan “super-committee” of lawmakers failed to agree on a plan, congressional leaders and the Obama administration have struggled to find a way to avert the spending cuts, although they recently agreed to delay them by four months.

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