Tags: John McCain | Barack Obama | Obama | McCain | payroll | tax | cut

McCain Rips Obama Over Payroll Tax Impasse

Thursday, 22 Dec 2011 01:06 PM

By Dan Weil

Sen. John McCain, D-Ariz., lit into President Barack Obama today for failing to produce an agreement on extending the payroll tax cut, The Hill reports.

The Senate passed a compromise two-month extension Saturday, but the House rejected it Tuesday amid objections from conservatives who want a one-year extension. Obama needs to exhibit leadership to break the stalemate, McCain told CNN. The president has merely told the House to pass the Senate bill.

"Previous presidents I've served under ... would be calling them [members of Congress] over to the White House, looking them in the eye and telling them, 'We need to fix this', " McCain said.

Other presidents "exerted a lot more leadership than going shopping," he said, referring to a Wednesday outing by Obama to purchase gifts for his family and speak with voters.

McCain isn’t too happy with how House Republicans have handled the payroll tax issue either. The House can easily work off the Senate bill and "pass the exact same thing in the House but make it a year instead of two months,” he said. “We could do that."

Gridlock doesn’t help the GOP, he said, "Republicans are losing this fight. We need to get back on track."

As for Obama, McCain reiterated his criticism of the president for withdrawing all U.S. troops from Iraq this month, following reports that bombs exploding in Baghdad killed at least 63 people today.

McCain has warned in the past that withdrawal of U.S. troops could lead to a breakdown in Iraqi security. "Unfortunately what I anticipated is taking place," he said today.

Obama’s contention that the United States has "left a stable and democratic Iraq" was just "part of his campaigning," McCain said. He termed Obama’s comments about Iraq "slick propaganda."

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