The simmering feud between congressional Republicans and the White House erupted into open conflict Tuesday, when President Obama publicly lambasted House GOP conservatives for stalling an economic package that includes an extension of the payroll tax cut. A short time later, Republican House Speaker John Boehner returned fire, dashing hope that either side was set to relent.
Obama called on House Republicans to accept a two-month extension reached through bipartisan compromise in the Senate, saying that their reluctance to do so would mean a tax increase for 160 million working Americans on Jan. 1 and the loss of unemployment benefits for 2.5 million people.
"The clock is ticking; time is running out," Obama said. "And if the House Republicans refuse to vote for the Senate bill, or even allow it to come up for a vote, taxes will go up in 11 days. I saw today that one of the House Republicans referred to what they're doing as 'high-stakes poker.' He's right about the stakes, but this is not poker, this is not a game. This shouldn't be politics as usual."