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Obama may delay vacation to handle tax dispute

 

President Obama may delay his holiday vacation to Hawaii if lawmakers on Capitol Hill can't reach a deal to extend an expiring payroll tax cut.

Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett said that the president would stay in Washington if, by Dec. 17, Congress had not reached an agreement to extend the tax holiday.

"He is intending to stay right here in Washington. He intends to hold Congress accountable. Leader Reid made the same commitment," Jarrett said on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports."

During a speech on the economy, President Barack Obama unveiled a populist attack on the Republican Party, even embracing the slogans of Occupy Wall Street. Senior White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett explains how Obama's Wall Street fundraisers and Independent voters will react.

That news follows remarks by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) earlier this afternoon, who said that Democrats would stay in session until completing work on the payroll tax and expired unemployment benefits.

Michelle and the girls will have a great time in Hawaii. They don't need me there," Reid said Obama had told him, per NBC's Kelly O'Donnell.

The pronouncements by Obama and Reid have the effect of pressuring Republicans, particularly in the House, to reach an agreement on these year-end issues.

The GOP is somewhat divided over whether to extend the tax holiday, and, what's more, they differ sharply with Democrats over how to finance any extension of the tax holiday. Lawmakers in both parties must resolve their differences on how to pay for the tax cut in order to reach a deal.

For Congress, it's just another year of crunch-time lawmaking. Members haggled late into December over whether to extend the Bush tax cuts in late 2010, and the Senate voted on Christmas Eve in 2009 on Obama's health care reform law.