WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is urging Congress to vote for a debt-cutting deal by next month in order to avoid the "fiscal cliff."

The president was joined by middle class Americans today as he asked Congress to keep them in mind during negotiations and not raise their income taxes. Obama says Democrats in the House are ready to vote on a deal but claims Republicans are hesitant about signing on.

"If we can get a few House Republicans to agree, I'll sign this bill as soon as Congress sends it my way," said Obama. "I've got a pen. I'm ready to sign it."

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) says he's confident a deal will be struck soon, despite pressure from the president.