barack-obama_052412_web.jpgWASHINGTON (AP) _ President Barack Obama is urging Congress to reach a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, saying the nation “can't afford a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy.''

Obama says in Saturday's radio and Internet address that he believes leaders in Congress may be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses before taxes rise and spending cuts take effect at the end of the year.

He urges “Washington politics'' to not get in the way of “America's progress.''

In the Republican address, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt says “inaction shouldn't be an option'' and the nation can avoid going over the fiscal cliff if Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate work with Republicans to solve the problem.