Obama Calls Boehner to Press for Payroll Tax Deal

But neither he nor speaker budges
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 21, 2011 3:29 PM CST
Obama Calls Boehner to Press for Payroll Tax Deal
President Obama shops for Christmas gifts for his family at Best Buy Wednesday in Alexandria, Va.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – President Obama raised the pressure on John Boehner over the payroll tax standoff with a personal phone call today, reports the Hill. But, surprise, surprise, no magical breakthroughs resulted. From the official accounts, it sounds like the two just spouted talking points at each other—Obama telling Boehner to pass the two-month extension and Boehner responding that there's still time for House and Senate negotiators to get together and hammer out a yearlong deal before the year ends.

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"Let's get this done today," Boehner said. Obama also called Harry Reid and praised him for working out the bipartisan deal that cleared the Senate. It looks like the major development of the day will remain the Wall Street Journal's scathing editorial that said the GOP "botched" the politics of the debate. Boehner seemed unfazed, notes Politico: “We are the party of lower taxes for the American people,” he said when asked about it. “We have fought for lower taxes for the 21 years that I have been in this Congress, and we will continue to be the party of lower taxes." (Read more President Obama stories.)

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