Obama has signaled that a proposal to add a same-sex partnership measure to a US immigration overhaul should not derail the entire legislative effort.
Barack Obama is due to host congressional leaders including his Republican rivals in a last-ditch bid to halt America's slide over the fiscal cliff.
"We've endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years," Obama said during a somber televised appearance in the White House briefing room.
United States Federal Reserve chairperson Ben Bernanke on Tuesday defended the government's latest bailout of embattled insurer AIG.
Former Federal Reserve chairperson Alan Greenspan, in a memoir to be released on Monday, criticised President George Bush and congressional Republicans for abandoning fiscal discipline and for putting politics ahead of sound economics. In his book, Greenspan said he was surprised Bush was unwilling to temper his campaign promises with fiscal reality once elected.
Federal Reserve chairperson Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday this week's sharp stock market drop had not changed the Fed's view that the United States economy was sound, remarks that helped shaken markets regain confidence. His remarks came a day after the US stock market suffered its worst slide since 2001.