"I'm optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time," the president said after meeting with congressional leaders at the White House on Friday. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Evan Vucci/AP

Construction is under way on the viewing stand in front of the U.S. Capitol for President Obama's Inauguration Day ceremonies on Jan. 21. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

itoggle caption J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Lauren Rae (left) and Olivia Marlow look at the ornaments in the Grand Foyer during the first viewing of the White House 2012 holiday decorations in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. This year's theme is "Joy to All." Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

A campaign volunteer wears a button as President Obama speaks at a campaign event in Maumee, Ohio. Now that the election is over, the Obama team is trying to keep supporters engaged in the president's second term. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Obama, with daughters Sasha and Malia, at last year's turkey pardoning ceremony. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

President Obama speaks about the economy and the deficit at the White House on Friday. He says this time around, he has proof that Americans agree with his approach. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Carolyn Kaster/AP

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney arrives onstage early Wednesday morning in Boston, moments before conceding defeat in the 2012 presidential election. Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images