"It would be inexcusable for Congress not to further extend this middle-class tax cut for the rest of the year," Obama said after the Senate passed a two-month extension on the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Jacquelyn Martin/AP

The House voted Monday to extend the federal debt limit and enact spending cuts. Here, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi arrives for a meeting with House Democrats and Vice President Joe Biden at the Capitol. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Obama spoke about the ongoing debt negotiations earlier this week in the Brady Press Briefing Room in Washington, D.C. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Win McNamee/Getty Images

Smiles at the start: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is at the far left. President Obama is at center left. They and other lawmakers were all smiles before the doors closed Wednesday. Charles Dharapak/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Charles Dharapak/AP