POLITICS

Obama pushes congress to 'keep going' on helping U.S. economy

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(ABC7, AP) President Barack Obama on Tuesday pushed Congress to continue working on the agreement they reached on the payroll tax cut extension.

Obama pushes congress to "keep going" on helping U.S. economy

During an event at the White House, Obama was joined by Vice President Joe Biden and Americans who posted their stories on WhiteHouse.gov and Twitter about what the payroll tax extension means to them. The payroll tax extension, which caused tensions between the White House and Congressional leaders for months before it was passed through last week, is likely to give the typical American family an extra $40 in their paychecks.

In his comments, Obama urged Congress to “keep going” and to “not stop here,” to work on more measures to help the nation's economy. The president says lawmakers should act on measures to help homeowners pay their mortgages and assist small businesses.

The president touted Congressional leaders’ actions, saying they "did the right thing."

"Keep taking the action that people are calling for to keep this economy growing. This may be an election year, but the American people have no patience for gridlock," he said in comments targeted to lawmakers.

He said the extension of the tax cut for the rest of the year will have a spillover effect: More people will spend money and more businesses in turn will be prodded to hire workers, and so "the entire economy" gets a boost.

Obama also wants Congress to pass the so-called Buffett rule, which seeks to ensure that people making more than $1 million a year pay at least 30 percent of their incomes in taxes.

The president also credited the public with helping push lawmakers to pass the payroll tax cut extension.

"This got done because of you," Obama said.

"Because you called, you emailed, you tweeted your representatives and you demanded action. You made it clear that you wanted to see some common sense in Washington."

Congress overwhelmingly approved the $143 billion measure Friday. The payroll holiday extension represents a political victory for Obama, who overcame initial GOP opposition.

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