President Obama urged Congress on Saturday to at least pass a short-term measure that would avert major tax increases for most Americans in the new year while continuing to press for a comprehensive deal to avoid the imminent fiscal cliff of severe budget cuts and tax increases.

“Congress can prevent it from happening, if they act now,” Obama said in his weekly radio address. “Leaders in Congress are working on a way to prevent this tax hike on the middle class, and I believe we may be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time.”