Updated: Obama sounded frustrated but aware he has the upper hand in his brief remarks on the payroll tax standoff today, making good use of the ammunition Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell gave him this morning:
This isn't a typical Democrat versus Republican issue. This is an issue where an overwhelming number of people in both parties agree. How can we not get that done? I mean, has this place become so dysfunctional that even when people agree to things, we can't do it? ... It doesn't make any sense. Enough is enough.
He forged ahead with the White House's strategy in recent days of showing examples of ways Americans would spend the extra $40 a temporary extension of the payroll tax cut would give them. He put some of those who responded to that campaign on stage behind him, and they looked sort of stoically on through the speech. It feels like he took a pretty good selection from the submissions the White House has received, picking people who wouldn't exactly perish if they lost out on the $40, but whose lives would nonetheless be affected in meaningful ways. Obama said, for instance:
Joseph from New Jersey talked about how he would have to sacrifice the occasional pizza night with his daughters. He said, "My 16 year old twins will be out of the house soon. I'll miss this."
Original: As the payroll tax cut extension fight heads into the final rounds, President Barack Obama will speak on the issue at 1 p.m., presumably addressing Republicans' newly conciliatory (albeit still snarky) stance on the issue. Pundits and even Karl Rove have chimed in about Boehner and his lack of control over the party, saying that the impasse has hurt Republicans. But this morning, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was still in a joking mood as he asked Bo, Obama's dog to come and join in with the negotiations. Obama's speech comes on the heels of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offering up a compromise that comes in the form of a short-term extension. Watch it here:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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