(AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari )
President Obama called House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday and urged him to take up the bipartisan Senate measure to extend the payroll tax cut before the end of the year.
Even though Congress has left town for the holidays, aides to the president say he is delaying his Christmas vacation because the House could still technically take action this week.
"The compromise exists," White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday. "It is available, even now, for the House to vote on."
Obama has been conspicuous around town the last couple of days, popping into the press room Tuesday and, on Wednesday afternoon, leaving the White House to go buy a chew toy for his dog at a shop in Alexandria, Va.
The implicit message for the cameras is clear: The president is in town, alone, while Congress has left town without extending the tax cut.
His calls over the noon hour constituted the explicit request of the day.
"They should just get it done," said Carney.