WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama Wednesday urged the American people to call, e-mail, and tweet with a "hashtag" at their members of Congress to encourage them to pass an extension of the Bush Tax Cuts for those making less than $250,000.
"It's too important for Washington to screw this up," Obama said, warning that the economy will "go south" if lawmakers don't act by the end of the year.
Obama is leveraging his campaign operation for the push on middle-class tax cuts, with the official @Obama2012 Twitter account live-tweeting his remarks to more than a quarter-million followers.
"I’ll go anywhere and I’ll do whatever it takes to get this done," Obama said, explaining why he will be traveling to Pennsylvania this week to increase pressure on lawmakers.
Obama is calling on members of Congress to peel off the tax-cut extension from the larger fiscal cliff debate, arguing it enjoys bipartisan support.
“If both parties agree we should not raise taxes on middle-class families, let’s begin our work on where we agree," the president said.
Obama added that he hopes to have a deal in place by Christmas.
But Republican lawmakers want a full extension of the Bush tax cuts for all wage-earners.
Obama, rallying the public, said he can "can only do it with the help of the American people," again calling on the public to reach out to legislators to pressure them to pass the tax cuts swiftly.
"Call your members of Congress, write them an e-mail, post it on their Facebook walls. You can tweet it using the hashtag #my2k," Obama said.
Republican Rep. Tom Cole told Politico Tuesday that he supported passing the extension for middle-class Americans and then dealing with the tax cuts for the wealthy as part of the larger fiscal cliff debate. Speaker of the House John Boehner told reporters Wednesday that he opposes that plan.