*Racing the debt clock, Congress is working on dual tracks while President Barack Obama appeals to the public in hopes of influencing a deal that talks have failed to produce so far.

“We have to ask everyone to play their part because we are all part of the same country,” Obama said Saturday, pushing a combination of spending cuts and tax increases that has met stiff resistance from Republicans. “We are all in this together.”

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama said the wealthiest must “pay their fair share.” He invoked budget deals negotiated by GOP President Ronald Reagan and Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill, and Democratic President Bill Clinton and Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich.

“You sent us to Washington to do the tough things, the right things,” he said. “Not just for some of us, but for all of us.”

As a critical Aug. 2 deadline approached, the chances that Obama would get $4 trillion or even $2 trillion in deficit reduction on terms he preferred were quickly fading as Congress moved to take control of the debate.

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