President Obama speaks Wednesday while meeting with citizens at the White House. Obama called on Republicans to halt an automatic tax hike for middle-class Americans. Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama speaks about the economy and the deficit Friday in the East Room of the White House. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Carolyn Kaster/AP

House Speaker John Boehner announces a payroll tax cut extension agreement, December 22, 2011. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Evan Vucci/AP