Here is President Barack Obama’s payroll tax cut extension speech video and transcript from Fri., Dec. 23, 2011, and signing into law, legislation passed by the Senate and House to extend for two months the payroll tax cut and long-term unemployment benefits. Watch full video of the speech, the bill signing and see a roundup of news stories and commentary below.
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Full text of the speech is below. Video of the President signing the bill into law and news roundup follow.
Remarks by the President
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
1:25 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. I know you’re all looking forward to spending time with their families over the holidays, but we did have one last piece of business to finish up. I said it was critical for Congress not to go home without preventing a tax increase on 160 million working Americans, and I’m pleased to say that they’ve got it done. So I want to thank all the members of Congress for ending the stalemate and making this happen.
Because of this agreement, every working American will keep their tax cut — about $1,000 for a typical family. And that’s — translates into an extra $40 or so in every paycheck. Vital unemployment insurance will continue for millions of Americans who are looking for work. And when Congress returns, I urge them to keep working, without drama, without delay, to reach an agreement that extends this tax cut as well as unemployment insurance through all of 2012.
Last week, I said that this should be a formality, and that’s still the case. So let’s make sure that we extend this tax break and unemployment insurance for a full year for our families, but also for our economy. It’s the right thing to do because more money spent by more Americans means more businesses hiring more workers. And that’s a boost for everybody, and it’s a boost that we very much need right now.
Finally, I want to take a moment to thank my fellow Americans for bringing their voices to this debate. I met with several here at the White House yesterday. I really think it takes courage to believe that your voice can make a difference. And I promise you, the American people, your voices made a difference on this debate. Whether you tweeted or called or wrote, you reminded people in this town what this debate and what all of our debates should be about — it’s about you. It’s about your lives. It’s about your families. You didn’t send us to this town to play partisan games, and to see who’s up and who’s down. You sent us here to serve and make your lives a little bit better; to do what’s right. And fortunately, that’s how this week ended.
So this is some good news, just in the nick of time for the holidays. I do want to be clear though: We have a lot more work to do. This continues to be a make-or-break moment for the middle class in this country, and we’re going to have to roll up our sleeves together — Democrats and Republicans — to make sure that the economy is growing, and to make sure that more jobs are created.
We’ve got an economy that is showing some positive signs; we’ve seen many consecutive months of private sector job growth. But it’s not happening as fast as it needs to. And that means that we’ve got to redouble our efforts, working together. It also means that we’ve got to make sure we’re rebuilding an economy where if you work hard, that work will be rewarded; the kind of economy where everyone is doing their fair share and everybody plays by the same set of rules, everybody has a fair chance and everybody is acting responsibly, including those of us here in Washington.
So there are going to be some important debates next year, some tough fights, I’m sure, in the years to come. But that’s the kind of country that I’m fighting for — one where everybody has a fair chance and everybody is doing their fair share. That’s the kind of country that I think the American people deserve and the kind of country that American people want.
So I want to wish everybody a Merry Christmas, happy holidays, a happy New Year to you and your families — and that includes everybody here in the press corps. I know you guys have been working hard, and your families will be happy to spend a little more time with you over the next few days.
I also want to make sure to send the warmest holiday wishes to all the men and women in uniform who are serving overseas right now and may not have a chance to see their families during this holiday season. We are grateful for everything that you do.
All right? Thank you, guys. Aloha.
1:30 P.M. EST
Today’s full itinerary is here: President Obama official schedule and guidance, December 23, 2011.
Here is a roundup of news and commentary on the legislation:
- Republican lawmakers frustrated with Boehner-Cantor soap opera
- Analysis: Why payroll is more than a short-term victory for Obama
- Payroll tax fight leaves Hill Republicans divided and angry
- Behind the GOP’s Payroll Tax Surrender
- President Obama Payroll Tax Cut Speech Video: Dec. 22, 2011
- President Obama Payroll Tax Cut Speech Video: Dec. 17, 2011 Statement on Senate Vote
President Obama Home Care Workers Speech Video Dec. 15, 2011: Statement at We Can’t Wait Event
- President Obama Fort Bragg, North Carolina Speech Video Dec. 14, 2011: Address to Iraq War Veterans
- U.S. President Obama, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Joint News Conference Video: Dec. 12, 2011
- President Obama 60 Minutes Video, Transcript Dec. 11, 2011 Full Interview with Steve Kroft
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript: Dec. 10, 2011 (Radio, YouTube Video)
- President Obama Speech Video Dec. 8, 2011: White House Press Conference
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript: Dec. 3, 2011 (Radio, YouTube Video)
President Obama Speech Video Dec. 5, 2011: White House Press Conference
- President Obama Energy Efficiency in Buildings Speech Video Dec. 2, 2011: Better Buildings Challenge Address
- President Obama Scranton, Pennsylvania Video Nov. 30, 2011 Address at Scranton High School
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript: Thanksgiving Nov. 24, 2011 (Radio, YouTube Video)
- President Obama New Hampshire Speech Video Nov. 22, 2011 Address at Manchester Central High School
- President Obama Super Committee Speech Video: Nov. 21, 2011 Statement on Supercommittee Failure on Deficit Reduction
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript Nov. 12, 2011 (Radio, YouTube Video)
- President Obama Australian Parliament Speech Video Nov. 16, 2011 (Nov. 17): Address at Great Hall of Parliament House in Canberra
- President Obama Press Conference Video: Nov. 13, 2011 APEC Summit Speech in Honolulu, Hawaii
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript Nov. 12, 2011 (Radio, YouTube Video)
- President Obama Veterans Day Speech Video 11-11-11 – November 11, 2011 – Arlington Wreath Laying Ceremony at Tomb of the Unknowns
- President Obama National Women’s Law Center Awards Dinner Speech Video Nov. 9, 2011 Keynote Address
- President Obama Yeadon, Pennsylvania Speech Video Nov. 8, 2011 Address at Yeadon Regional Head Start Center
- President Obama Press Conference Video: Nov. 4, 2011 G-20 Summit Speech in Cannes, France
- President Obama Iraq Speech Video Oct. 21, 2011: All U.S. Troops out of Iraq
- President Obama Libya Speech Video Oct. 20, 2011 Statement on Muammar Gaddafi Death
- President Obama North Chesterfield, Virginia Bus Tour Speech Video Oct. 19, 2011: Fire Station 9
- President Obama Hampton, Virginia Bus Tour Speech Video Oct. 19, 2011: Langley Air Force Base
- President Obama Emporia, Virginia Bus Tour Speech Video Oct. 18, 2011: Greensville County High School
- President Obama Jamestown, North Carolina Bus Tour Speech Video Oct. 18, 2011: Guilford Technical Community College
- President Obama North Carolina Bus Tour Speech Video Oct. 17, 2011: Asheville, West Wilkes High School
- Obama, Lee GM Orion Assembly Plant Speech Video: Oct. 14, 2011 U.S. and South Korean Presidents in Lake Orion, Michigan
- President Obama State Dinner with South Korean President Lee Live Stream Video Oct. 13, 2011
- Obama Press Conference Video: Oct. 6, 2011 Presidential News Conference on the American Jobs Act
- President Obama Joint Chiefs of Staff Ceremony Speech Video Sept. 30, 2011 Address at Change of Office at Ft Myer
President Obama Back to School Speech Video Sept. 28, 2011 Annual Address to Students
- President Obama Denver, Colorado Speech Video Sept. 27, 2011 Address at Abraham Lincoln High School
President Obama LinkedIn Town Hall Video Sept. 26, 2011 Speech at LinkedIn Headquarters in Mountain View, CA
- President Obama Cincinnati, Ohio Speech Video Sept. 22, 2011: Brent Spence Bridge Address
- President Obama Tax Plan Speech Video Sept. 19, 2011: Budget Deficit Reduction Plan Address
- President Obama Debt Ceiling Speech Video July 25, 2011: Presidential Address to the Nation on Budget Deficit Talks
- Obama Press Conference Video: July 15, 2011 Presidential News Conference: Debt Ceiling, Debt Talks
- President Obama Interview with Scott Pelley Video July 12, 2011 CBS Evening News
- Obama Press Conference Video: July 11, 2011 Presidential News Conference on the Debt Ceiling
- President Obama Afghanistan Speech Video June 22, 2011: Address on Afghan War Troop Withdrawal
- President Obama 60 Minutes Video, Transcript May 8, 2011 Full Interview with Steve Kroft
- President Obama State of the Union Address 2011 Video: Jan. 25 Speech to Joint Session of Congress