WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama said Monday it was "tempting" to think of going it alone without Congress after weeks of trying to forge an elusive debt deal with his Republican foes.

"Believe me, right now dealing with Congress... the idea of doings things on my own is very tempting. Not just on immigration reforms," he said, during a meeting with Hispanic-origin rights activists.

"But that's not how our system works. That's not how our democracy functions, that's not how our constitution is written," said Obama, a former teacher of constitutional law.

He was referring not just to the negotiations to try to raise the nation's debt ceiling before an August 2 deadline, but also to a bid to pass a bill on immigration reform which failed to pass the Senate amid Republican opposition.

"This is a city where compromise has become a dirty word," the president added.