President Obama urged lawmakers to “do something meaningful” about the nation’s deficits and debt, as he tried to find common ground between the two parties on a deficit-reduction deal.

“Now is the time to deal with these issues,” Obama said. “If not now, when?”

The president fielded questions from the press ahead of a meeting Monday afternoon with bipartisan lawmakers at the White House, his third since last week.

The unsteady talks have taken several turns in recent days. After the White House built up hopes after Thursday’s meeting about the possibility of a “grand bargain” dealing with everything from discretionary spending to entitlements to tax reform, House Speaker John Boehner on Saturday urged all sides to lower their sights and focus on a deficit-reduction package worth far less.

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