White House press secretary Jay Carney was flanked by something new at a Monday press briefing: a "doomsday clock" counting down to when the employee payroll tax cut expires.
The clocks, at Monday's White House briefing, were unveiled just after President Obama urged Congressional Republicans to sign on a revised proposal by Senate Democrats to extend the employee payroll tax cut.
During the briefing the clocks stopped for a moment and then started up again, counting down to the end of the month when the current tax cut extension is set to expire.
The new proposal includes a smaller version of the payroll tax cut and costs $180 billion. The previous version cost $265 billion.
"We cannot play games with unemployment insurance when unemployment is still way too high," Obama said Monday.
Carney said the clock emphasizes the urgency for legislators to extend the tax cut.
"I think what this clock dramatizes that there isn't a lot of time and that Congress needs to act and do the right thing," Carney said.