In a surprise appearance in the White House briefing room, President Barack Obama called the Senate’s two-month payroll tax cut extension “the only viable way to prevent a tax hike on Jan. 1” and called on Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to allow a vote on it.
Obama said that while he still wants a full-year extension, that effort has been held up by Republicans who are trying to wring concessions from Democrats on unrelated issues. The president also ripped an unnamed Republican for calling the latest GOP move — to vote to move to a conference committee with a Senate that has already left town — “high-stakes poker.”
“This is not poker, this is not a game,” said the president, who appeared angry and animated in his brief appearance.
Obama said now is not the time to deal with internal caucus politics or more brinkmanship. He said the American people are tired of that.
“We owe it to them to come together right now and do the right thing. ... That’s what the Senate did.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks with reporters following a vote in the Senate. Gillibrand’s proposal to remove military commanders from the process of reviewing sexual-assault cases was left out of the bicameral deal on the defense authorization bill, but the senator is pushing for a vote on her plan soon.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.