"We're in the midst of the Christmas season," Mr. Obama said, sitting at a table in the Santana family's Falls Church, Va., home. "I think the American people are counting on this getting solved. The closer it gets to the brink, the more stress there is going to be."
The president and lawmakers have until the end of the year to avert across-the-board spending cuts and tax increases. Mr. Obama has reiterated in recent days his firm stance, saying he's willing to let the so-called fiscal cliff happen if Republicans don't drop their opposition to higher tax rates for the wealthy.
"Just to be clear, I'm not going to sign any package that somehow prevents the top rate from going up for the folks in the top 2 percent," Mr. Obama said. "But I do remain optimistic that we can get something done that is good for families like this one and is good for the American economy."
The president's trip is part of a campaign to rally public support for his tax proposals. The family whose home he visited was one of many who shared a story online of how they would be hurt if their taxes went up at the end of the year. The president will also travel to Detroit on Monday.
Mr. Obama and House Speaker John Boehner spoke on the phone Wednesday, their first known conversation in nearly a week. No details were released about the conversation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.