Jason Furman, an assistant to Obama on economic policy, told reporters Wednesday that the president wants to ensure additional revenue from higher taxes on the wealthy now to help avoid the fiscal cliff.
"What we're seeking to do is to lock in revenue this year, not have some vague process that may or may not add up to something, you know, in the future, and so we're trying to pass something this month," Furman said.
While the White House has made clear Obama will veto any measure that fails to increase tax rates on the wealthy, aides have signaled a possible willingness to negotiate the specific rate increase.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV this week, Obama said lower tax rates for the wealthy could be negotiated as part of broader tax reform in 2013, but only after those rates increase now.
Obama's deficit-reduction plan would increase taxes by almost $1 trillion over 10 years, a significant portion of a $4 trillion overall deficit-reduction goal.
It also would close loopholes, limit deductions, raise the estate tax rate to 2009 levels and increases tax rates on capital gains and dividends.
The Obama plan includes $50 billion in stimulus spending for programs intended to create jobs, such as repairing roads and bridges.
Experts have said failing to reach a fiscal cliff deal and devise a framework for a broader deficit reduction package to be negotiated when the new Congress is seated in January would cause economic turmoil.
The non-partisan Tax Policy Center estimates that middle-class families would pay about $2,000 a year more in taxes without action.