It's over!  Dueling statements from the speaker and the president
December 22nd, 2011
06:08 PM ET

It's over! Dueling statements from the speaker and the president

House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday announced an agreement with Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid to extend the payroll tax cut for two months.  Afterwards both Speaker Boehner and President Obama released statements.

House Speaker John Boehner:

Senator Reid and I have reached an agreement that will ensure taxes do not increase for working families on January 1 while ensuring that a complex new reporting burden is not unintentionally imposed on small business job creators. Under the terms of our agreement, a new bill will be approved by the House that reflects the bipartisan agreement in the Senate along with new language that allows job creators to process and withhold payroll taxation under the same accounting structure that is currently in place. The Senate will join the House in immediately appointing conferees, with instructions to reach agreement in the weeks ahead on a full-year payroll tax extension. We will ask the House and Senate to approve this agreement by unanimous consent before Christmas. I thank our Members – particularly those who have remained here in the Capitol with the holidays approaching – for their efforts to enact a full-year extension of the payroll tax cut for working families.”

President Barack Obama:

For the past several weeks, I’ve stated consistently that it was critical that Congress not go home without preventing a tax increase on 160 million working Americans. Today, I congratulate members of Congress for ending the partisan stalemate by reaching an agreement that meets that test.

Because of this agreement, every working American will keep his or her tax cut – about $1,000 for the average family. That’s about $40 in every paycheck. Vital unemployment insurance will continue for millions of Americans who are looking for work. And when Congress returns, I urge them to keep working to reach an agreement that will extend this tax cut and unemployment insurance for all of 2012 without drama or delay.

This is good news, just in time for the holidays. This is the right thing to do to strengthen our families, grow our economy, and create new jobs. This is real money that will make a real difference in people’s lives. And I want to thank every American who raised your voice to remind folks in this town what this debate was all about. It was about you. And today, your voices made all the difference.

Topics: John Boehner • President Obama • The News
December 22nd, 2011
12:17 PM ET

Omnibus bill delivered to White House

President Obama has been holding off on going to Hawaii until the Omnibus – the bill that funds the government through 2012 - arrived for his signature.  Now that it's arrived, there's only one hurdle keeping him in town: the payroll tax cut stalemate. Here's a statement from an administration official saying he’ll sign the Omnibus before midnight tomorrow.

"We received the Omnibus late yesterday, and the president will sign it before the current short term CR runs out this week. The current short term CR runs out at midnight on Friday," the official said.

Do you think the president signs it and then joins his family for a brief Christmas in Hawaii? If he does he’ll probably heads back to DC next week if payroll hasn’t been extended.

Topics: The News
December 22nd, 2011
11:33 AM ET

Obama, Boehner speak again

Looks like the President connected with House Speaker John Boehner again Thursday. But its unclear if the ball has moved at all. Here's the readout from the White House:

Speaker Boehner called the President this morning and the President reiterated to the Speaker that the only viable option currently on the table is for the House of Representatives to pass the bipartisan Senate compromise that received the support of nearly 90 percent of the Senate. The President told Speaker Boehner that he is committed to begin working immediately on a full-year agreement once the House passes the bipartisan Senate compromise that prevents a tax hike on 160 million Americans on January 1.

Topics: President Obama
Morning Briefing: December 22
December 22nd, 2011
08:50 AM ET

Morning Briefing: December 22

The 1600 Report's daily roundup of what the White House is reading this morning online and in the papers:

Obama has chats with Boehner, Reed [CNN]

And he’s upping the pressure over payroll [POLITICO]

Economic numbers are good, but don’t get your hopes up [NYTimes]

Poll shows only 17 percent happy with how things are going [POLITICO]

New EPA regs draw praise, and heat [CNN]

Romney people happy he’s getting beat up? [POLTICO]

POTUS' Day Ahead: Stretching #40dollars as far as it can go
December 22nd, 2011
06:41 AM ET

POTUS' Day Ahead: Stretching #40dollars as far as it can go

The president Thursday is seeking to capitalize on the outpouring of support for the the payroll tax extension on twitter, set to host several Americans at the White House who responded to the #40dollars twitter campaign earlier this week.  The White House social media gurus asked Americans on Twitter to explain how they use the estimated $40 dollars that the payroll tax holiday adds to their paycheck.

According to a White House official, more than 25,000 people responded and, seizing on the obvious PR benefits, the president will highlight some of these Americans at the event Thursday.

Meanwhile, the White House press corps remains on Obama vacation watch, but the president continues to remain mum on the issue.