"This is a Satan sandwich," the head of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., said in an interview with ABC News. "There's no question about it because there's nothing inside this sandwich that the major religions of the world would say deals with protection for the poor, the widows, the children. It's not in here."
The White House dispatched Vice President Joe Biden to Capitol Hill to meet with House and Senate Democrats to lobby for their support.
"Is this the deal I would have preferred? No," Obama said at the White House last night. "But this compromise does make a serious down payment on the deficit reduction we need, and gives each party a strong incentive to get a balanced plan done before the end of the year."
Meanwhile, many Republicans have also voiced disapproval of the deal, some opposing any increase in the debt limit altogether, with others pledging only to support it if a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution is passed first.
"It isn't the greatest deal in the world, but it shows how much we've changed the terms of the debate in this town," Boehner said on a Sunday night conference call with House Republicans, according to GOP officials. He urged his colleagues to support the deal because it's "all spending cuts. The White House bid to raise taxes has been shut down."
The compromise legislation would increase the government's borrowing power by up to $2.4 trillion through 2013, and impose nearly $1 trillion in spending cuts in 10 years, most coming out of the non-defense discretionary budget.
A new special congressional committee (nicknamed the "super committee") would be required to recommend additional deficit reduction -- that would likely include changes to entitlement programs and the tax code -- of up to $1.5 trillion by Thanksgiving. Under the deal, Congress would have to pass the recommendations into law by December or face the "trigger" of stiff, automatic cuts.
"We think that at the end of the day, this is an agreement that will pass the Senate and the House and President Obama will sign it," White House senior adviser David Plouffe said.