“If we are not able to reach an agreement, it will be dire,” warned Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.). “And that’s from everybody from the Congressional Budget Office, which is nonpartisan, as you know, to the Fed chairman, probably at least another million jobs lost, an unemployment rate over 9 percent, and putting us back into recession. So responsible people on both sides of the aisle do need to try to come together, and there is a significant effort underway right now.”

Boehner noted that while continuously pushing the House to vote on the Senate Democrats’ White House-approved tax cut extension for the middle class only, Obama has never extended the same ecumenical attitude toward the lower chamber’s bills to extend tax cuts and avoid sequestration.

“The House has passed legislation to avert the entire fiscal cliff, and the president has never called for the Senate to act on those bills in any way. He instead has simply allowed the Democratic-controlled Senate to sit on them and lead our economy to the edge of the fiscal cliff,” Boehner said.

“I am pleased Senators from both parties are currently working to find a bipartisan solution that can finally pass that chamber. That is the type of leadership America needs, not what they saw from the president this morning,” he added.

On NBC, David Gregory asked Obama if he had a role in breaking the congressional impasse.

“You know, at a certain point, if folks can’t say yes to good offers, then I also have an obligation to the American people to make sure that the entire burden of deficit reduction doesn’t fall on seniors, who are relying on Medicare,” the president responded. “…There is a basic fairness that is at stake in this whole thing that the American people understand and they listen to an entire year’s debate about it.

“And at a certain point, you know, it is very important for Republicans in Congress to be willing to say we understand we’re not going to get 100 percent, we are willing to compromise in a serious way in order to solve problems as opposed to be worrying about the next election,” Obama added. “…The offers that I’ve made to them have been so fair that a lot of Democrats get mad at me.”

Barrasso said negotiations were like “trying to line up Rubik’s cube right now.”

“We’re not there yet. We’re going to be meeting later today. This is going to continue, I think, until on to tomorrow,” he said. “My goal is to help keep tax rates down for all Americans. I think it hurts our economy if tax rates go up. That’s why I’m very concerned for the future and the growth of our economy and jobs.”