President Barack Obama says he and Congress should address the nation's long-term fiscal condition after lawmakers complete a deal on spending for the current fiscal year.
Obama said any agreement would have to be bipartisan and would require tackling defense spending, tax loopholes and major public programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
In a press conference Friday, Obama said the nation's long-term debt and deficit are caused primarily by rising health care costs that push up spending in the health programs for the elderly and the poor.
Obama faces increased pressure from congressional Republicans to rein in the costs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell says GOP senators won't vote to increase the government's borrowing limit in the coming weeks unless Obama agrees to deal with those entitlement programs.