As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

White House Gets Flexible on Payroll Tax

The White House today showed new flexibility regarding Republicans plans to tie other issues, like a revival Keystone pipeline, to an extension of the payroll tax holiday, refusing to issue veto threats on a new GOP proposal or even components of it.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today instead dusted off a familiar signal used by all White Houses to suggest they’re open to a deal, refusing to comment by saying he does not want to “negotiate from the podium.”

Carney during today’s White House briefing even seemed to soften Obama’s insistence Wednesday that “any effort to try to tie Keystone to the payroll tax cut I will reject,” refusing repeatedly to say whether “reject” meant “veto.”

In fact, Obama, who spoke Wednesday during a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, had said he would “reject” other issues Republicans are tying to the payroll tax:

And so my warning is not just specific to Keystone.  Efforts to tie a whole bunch of other issues to something that they should be doing anyway will be rejected by me.

The payroll tax extension Republicans unveiled today includes several measure unpalatable to Democrats, including the revival of the Canada-U.S. Keystone pipeline, which Obama had put on ice, a shortening of the duration of jobless benefits, and changes to Medicare.

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35 Responses to White House Gets Flexible on Payroll Tax

  1. Seems two can play the game and MrO has been outfoxed. Again.
    He can’t veto any bill that has the tax-cut extension, no matter what’s attached. His own fault, really.

  2. The Obama’s celebration of Hanukkah – two weeks early; Obama lit all the candles on the menorah (must have thought it was Kwanzaa) and said, “we never need an excuse for a good party.” A joke I guess. The whole debacle was an insult to the Jewish people around the world.

  3. Boy Michelle must have put the fear of a really big shopping spree and mini
    vacation before Hawaii to get him to fold. Michelle probably didn’t take the
    news even HER vacation could be cut short! Pity the sacrificial lamb that had
    to tell Queen of Everything.

      • This marriage is the biggest sham I’ve seen in ages. The hand holding and date night is so over the top and forced. They spend very little
        time together unless forced by occassion and it shows! They can’t stand the sight of each other it’s all show! We know they are only in it for the perks.

          • I get the same feeling–on some dopey Huffpo link the comments (mine did not go in) were all about how loving they were, how touching, and I don’t get that at all–no way. He has made snide cracks about her eating…and I think she thinks she would be better at the job and certainly deserves attn more than he does…they seem competitive.

          • You know it started as somewhat of a joke her toned arms and always no sleeves but now I think it’s a bit disturbing. She always has to show lots of skin something no other FL would dream of
            doing this chick has issues and not in a good way. Very much
            an exhibitionist.

          • Well that’s a very unpleasant picture of HRH looking down
            her nose at a real First Lady there’s a picture of Michelle
            sitting next to Mrs Sarkosy and if looks could kill France
            would be without a FL!

        • you know Lizzy, I don’t know if that’s true. I do think Michelle Antoinette is the Lady Macbeth behind the throne. but I remember a college friend of Barack’s being interviewed and he said he was surprised Barack got into politics, because in college “all he wanted to do was hang out with Michelle.”

          I get the feeling they really do love each other, but yeah, something’s not right. for one thing, poor Sasha and Malia always look MISERABLE at the photo ops…

          • I never did get that either…
            I figured EVERBODY would want to brag-claim they knew Obama in college (especailly at snooty Columbia & Harvard Law)… but I have heard from any of his classmates…
            Why is that?

          • I read a comment posted on another story yesterday by a man who stated that he knew Obama during his Occidental College days. He wrote that, based on his acquaintance with Obama, he was surprised that anyone referred to him as ‘intelligent’.

          • I imagine as well as his college transcripts his ‘friends’ are
            also sworn to secrecy and something we will never see or know what they contain. Wrong but not surprising can you
            imagine the skeletons in both Obama’s closets?

  4. I have a serious question: can someone please explain to me why Obama would turn down the Keystone project? they changed the plans to comply with what the enviros wanted–but the enviros then moved the goalposts! come on…

    even Obama’s pet unions are in favor of this thing. what’s the downside? I mean…20,000 immediate jobs, a good alliance with our ALLY Canada, and energy that does not come from the mad mullahs.

    oh wait–I think I just answered my own question.

  5. This is classic political compromise which Obama, if he was an classic politician, would welcome. But as we have seen, he operates to elevate
    himself while trying to humiliate his opponents and expand more govt control. His Hawaiian vacation is the catalyst to making a deal? Pretty lame

  6. Anyone have plans to watch the debate tonight?

    I’m undecided about viewing, convinced Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos will allow their points of view to take over the evening rather than letting the candidates converse. I was spoiled watching the Great Huckabee Debate. Perfection.

  7. I got an email from my great senator Menendez. He was touting the wonderful tax cuts that the Democrats are trying to do while the evil Republicans are denying us poor middle class our money. I wrote back to ask if our social security will be lowered in the future because of these cuts and if it will go bankrupt quicker. I doubt if he’ll answer, just doing my part to make these idiots understand.