Obama on payroll tax cut: "Enough is enough"

President Obama on Thursday continued his campaign on behalf of a short-term extension of the payroll tax cut, blasting House Republicans for holding up a Senate-passed bill and wondering, "Has this place become so dysfunctional that even when people agree to things we can't do it?"

"It doesn't make any sense," he told reporters in a press conference. "Enough is enough."

House Republicans argue that the Senate bill - which was negotiated in a bipartisan effort by leaders Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Harry Reid, D-Nev., and which sailed through the chamber last weekend with broad bipartisan support - is a short-term fix for a long-term problem.

On Thursday, Boehner was sticking to his guns even while fellow Republican McConnell urged House lawmakers to pass the Senate bill.

"Everybody has already agreed that the best policy is a one-year extension," Boehner told reporters on Capitol Hill. The speaker has instead called on Democrats to appoint lawmakers to work with the Republicans to hammer out differences between a House bill and the Senate bill.

Mr. Obama pointed to House Republicans' refusal to yield as an exemplification of Washington's problems.

"What's happening right now is exactly why people just get so frustrated with Washington. This is it. This is exactly why people get so frustrated with Washington," he said. "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?"

"This is not just my view," said Mr. Obama. "Just a few hours ago this is exactly what the Republican leader of the Senate said we should do. Democrats agree with the Republican leader of the Senate, we should go ahead and get this done."

McConnell is not the only prominent Republican to call on Boehner to change tacks. Karl Rove, an outspoken conservative and former adviser to President George W. Bush, said Wednesday that House Republicans "have lost the optics on" the issue and that "the question now is how do the Republicans get out of it."

Mr. Obama, in his remarks, called on Republicans to get this done "sooner rather than later."

"This should not be hard," he said. "We all agree it should happen. I believe it's going to happen sooner or later. Why not make it sooner rather than later? Let's give the American people, the people who sent us here, the kind of leadership they deserve."

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