In his speech in Kansas on Tuesday Obama attempted to channel the memory of the 26th President Teddy Roosevelt in suggesting that the battle being waged almost daily on the Senate floor on whether or not to raise taxes on the wealthy was the "defining issue our of time." 

At one point Obama seemed to turn his ire towards Congress where Republicans including Sessions continue to block Democrat's payroll tax cut extension legislation over pay-for mechanisms that would levy surtaxes on wealthy Americans. 

“There’s been a certain crowd in Washington for the last few decades who respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune,” Obama said. “Their philosophy is simple: We are better off when everyone is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules. I am here to say: They are wrong.”

Sessions, however, dismissed the speech as a "clever political document" designed for the campaign trail and said the nation's staggering $15 trillion deficit is the defining issue of our time, not whether or to raise taxes on the rich. 

"Really our nation is in a serious financial condition," said Sessions.

 "[W] e tried to look at the speech to see what it is that the president has proposed... and it is pretty clear that it appears that he is proposing that we spend next year $324 billion more than we planned to spend," said Sessions referring to the payroll extension legislation.

The Senate adjourned at 6 p.m. on Tuesday and is set to return at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

This post was updated at 6:01 p.m. to reflect adjournment.