Obama pushes GOP to extend payroll tax cuts

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) ? President Barack Obama says the nation’s economy would be dealt a “massive blow” if Congress fails to extend a payroll tax cut.

At a Scranton appearance Wednesday, Obama said continuing the tax cut should not be a controversial proposal because many Republican lawmakers have supported the idea in the past.

The president included the extension and expansion of the payroll tax cut in the jobs bill he introduced in September. Republicans blocked action on that full measure.

Obama says he wants to give Republicans a chance to vote in favor of the payroll tax cut again before it expires at the end of the year. He says he hopes GOP lawmakers will focus more on helping the economy than on scoring political points when they cast their votes.