(CNN) - President Barack Obama will make his first Sunday show appearance in more than three years this week, as he and congressional leaders are down to the wire on reaching a deal to avert the fiscal cliff.
His appearance Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" will be his first Sunday show interview since September 2009, when he appeared on five networks to tout his health care law.
While Obama has sat for a number of formal interviews, the major Sunday shows have a tradition and reputation for pressing newsmakers on tough questions, and because of their length, delve deeper than some other interviews. Many of Obama's interviews during his re-election campaign were with local television and radio stations.
The 2009 appearances were an effort to pressure agreement on health care.
No doubt the White House is making Obama available on Sunday to pressure lawmakers to deal with the looming fiscal cliff.
In a late Friday statement, Obama said he is "modestly optimistic that an agreement can be achieved."
Absent a deal, tax cuts on income of all levels will expire and cuts to both defense and discretionary spending will automatically trigger in the new year.
The onus is now on Republicans in the Senate to reach a deal. Obama said that if one is not reached, he will urge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to call for a vote on a scaled-back package.
The NBC program has been in the spotlight for host David Gregory's display of an empty gun magazine during a discussion of gun control on the program last Sunday. Magazines with a capacity of more than 10 ammunition rounds are illegal in Washington, where the show was broadcast, and police are investigating. NBC has made no comment.
– CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report
can't wait for the fair and balanced interview!!! Woohoo!!
Reading the comments posted really makes me wonder about America. "We" are the government and "we" need to take responsibility for what is happening in Washington D.C. Our financial problems are serious. They will take thoughtful adults to solve. The personal junville insults serve no useful purpose. We should all welcome the opportunity to participate in the process and learn all the "facts" we can about the various possible remedies. As such, we should always encourage our Presedent and all of our representatives to participate in programs such as "Meet the Press". We should also expect commentators to ask questions to help clarify the proposals made and not allow details to be obscured. For example when talking about the $250,000 limit, many forget that this is not a gross income number but rather an adjusted, taxable income number. Most Americans have far less than $100,000 in taxible income. As a result, individuals and small businesses who are fortunate to have more than $250,000 in taxable income after deductions and expenses should be able through increased taxes to help correct the infrastructure and educational deficiencies we need to improve the productivity and manufacturing of our economic engine. When the middle class benefits, America benefits. We all need jobs to support our families and our communities. True, some have benefited greatly over the past several years but many have not. Many have benefited by finding loop holes in the tax code and play games that protect their economic advantage; all legally. What we need is equality and fairness for all. Our problems are great but I still believe that by addressing them, step by step, "We the People" can bring America back to economic prosperity for all.
The Fiscal Cliff debate is nothing more than another show by Congress for a media frenzy. Just like the budget talks and extensions that happened earlier in Obama's term, this is exactly the same thing, just a new name for the same BS. Its just more media hype over a bunch of nothing! The deal will come through, the House and Senate will agree on some broken half baked plan which will benefit nobody except the law makers in Washington DC. Taxes will increase accordingly, the Middle Class will pay for it as they always have and the story will continue as it always has.
Anyone who believes different is merely fooling themselves into thinking this weak administration was really going to fight for what is right for the people who entrusted them with their offices. We the people should be blaming the entire administration for what they haven't done on either side of the isle! Nuff Said!
12 years ago George Bush passed a totally unsustainable tax cut. A Tax cut would have been nice at the time but not the size of the one he implemented, especially when we then got bogged down in the longest and most expensive war in our nations history. So we need to roll the tax cut back. The problem is that any Republican who votes for that is going to face a primary against a tea party challenger heavily funded by the billionaires who fund the tea party. This is what Obama is up against.
Part of the reason the Republicans set up the fiscal cliff was to force themselves t do the right thing. Now they're all afraid to, I give total props to The Speaker, he knows what must be done and he's trying, but the rank and file are two afraid.